Workers banded together to help one another evacuate a three-alarm fire at the Adell Plastics building in Lansdowne, MD, Tuesday afternoon.
Crews fought the fire overnight because they couldn’t get inside the collapsing building. Fire officials said the roof collapsed on the fire and they have to remove it before crews can put the fire out.
“Since we’ve started tearing the walls down, the roof that wasn’t burned through has collapsed down on top of the burning material. It’s a tin roof. Now we have problems getting water down to the base of the fire,” Baltimore County Fire Lt. Paul Massarelli said.
Heavy equipment was brought in Wednesday. A crane was working on getting the roof off of the flames, which is delaying the process, keeping firefighters working around the clock, and keeping Annapolis Road shut down to traffic for more than 24 hours.
Fire officials said crews are at the location for the long haul, switching out crews every few hours. One firetruck was running so long that it blew a radiator hose.
Fire officials said the fire burned fast and strong, ripping through cardboard and plastic inside the warehouse.
Workers at the scene said everyone got out safely.
“The back of the building was orange glowing, and when I stepped inside, I saw flames shooting up so I just started screaming ‘Fire’ to everybody. When I saw everybody else noticing what was going on, I jumped out and went to the office to warn the people in the office, and at that time I was on the phone with 911 the whole time,” said Adell employee Angela Glorioso in a published report.
Dozens of Adell employees watched the warehouse burn. They said they teamed up to make sure everyone got out.
“And then the fire department comes running down the street, and the firefighters went in, and they came right back out because of how thick the smoke was, and before you know it the roof collapsed,” Adell Plastics employee Charles Tyler said in the report.
Baltimore Gas and Electric crews cut a gas line feeding the fire in the front of the building.
Baltimore County fire officials said a firefighter was taken to a hospital with possible heat exhaustion.
Residents in the neighborhood remain concerned with possible chemicals in the smoke from the burning plastic.
Fire officials and the state Department of the Environment said they are monitoring the air and the water runoff.
“We’ve been monitoring. There’s nothing else in the smoke other than normal smoke. The plastic has burned off. It’s hot enough that it’s burning off the hazardous materials that will come out with that,” Massarelli said.
There is no word on what caused the blaze.