LATHAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — It was back to business as usual at the Pepsi plant in Latham after a fire broke out there early Wednesday morning.
The 911 call came in around 4:30 a.m. from employees at the plant off Old Niskayuna Road Extension. The first arriving firefighters reported seeing flames coming from the back warehouse.
“The way the chief explained it to me was it sounded like a jet engine running and that was the tank of the propane burning off inside, and other members who live close by here say they heard explosions,” Town of Colonie Deputy Fire Coordinator Mike Romano said.
Romano said the propane tank was fueling a forklift, which was mounted to the back of the machine and apparently malfunctioned.
“A propane tank on a forklift somehow exploded or caught fire leading to a larger fire because it was next to pallets of material that are stored here in the warehouse,” he said.
Because of the size of the building and the amount of flames firefighters could see from the outside, they called in nine of Colonie’s 12 fire companies. About 100 firefighters were at the scene, but it still took close to one hour to get under control.
“This building is 275,000 sq. ft. Probably one of the largest in the Town of Colonie. As you can see, the hydrants is all the way out here. It’s just over 1,000 ft. to lay into the back of the building and into the warehouse was about another 300 to 350 ft. into where the fire was.”
No one was hurt, and employees were eventually allowed back into the building.