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General Alarm Fire Hits Commerical Building

February 18, 1985

HOLYOKE, Mass. (AP) _ Fire and explosions ignited by chemicals today blasted debris from a paper- coating building, including a barrel that rocketed 200 feet, and firefighters said they expect the blaze will continue to burn for days.

Firefighters had difficulty reaching the core of the blaze because the Ludlow Corp. building was deep and clogged with stacked bales and rolls of paper, and the walls had caved in, said Deputy Fire Chief Donald Yelle.

″It’s going to be going for a couple of days,″ Yelle said.″We had about a half dozen good explosions - one that shot a barrel about 200 feet from the building. It was like a rocket going through the air. There’s a lot of chemicals in there.″

The concrete block and steel building was about the length of eight football fields, and 200 feet wide. Most of it collapsed.

The cause of the 1:30 a.m. fire was under investigation, and apparently no one was inside when the fire erupted, Yelle said. Chemicals in the building used in manufacturing probably caused the explosions, he added.

One firefighter was hospitalized after he was hit by the nozzle of a fire hose that slipped, Yelle said.

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