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Firefighter Injured In Fire At Thomas C. Thomas Co.

March 12, 2019
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Firefighter Injured In Fireat Thomas C. Thomas Co.

WILKES-BARRE — One firefighter was injured in a fire that broke out at the Thomas C. Thomas Co. building early Monday, according to the fire department.

The firefighter, who was not identified, was taken to an area hospital to be evaluated for unspecified injuries, Fire Chief Jay Delaney said.

A Wilkes-Barre police officer on routine patrol spotted smoke in the area of the building at 90 E. Union St. and reported the fire shortly after 1 a.m. Police reported that heat from the fire was causing live ammunition being stored in the building to discharge, Delaney said.

“That made for a fairly dangerous situation,” he said.

The chief noted the firefighter who was injured was not injured by the ammunition. It was not immediately clear why there was ammunition in the facility, which Delaney described as a “multi-use building.” The building’s owner did not know the ammunition was being stored in the facility, he said.

Crews had the fire extinguished by 2:20 a.m., Delaney said. The fire was contained to a room in the basement of the facility, although other areas of the building sustained smoke damage, he said.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation, with a fire inspector on the scene later Monday morning.

Delaney said the city’s health department was also contacted because food is stored in part of the building.

Northeast Tomato Distributors uses refrigerated storage units in the facility to house thousands of tomatoes arriving from all over the country prior to delivering them throughout the Northeastern U.S.

The building did not lose power during the fire, Delaney said.

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jhalpin@citizensvoice.com

570-821-2058