UPPER MORELAND, Pa., (CBS) – Firefighters battled a five-alarm blaze at a sheet metal plant in Upper Moreland, Montgomery County.

The fire was reported around 5:19 p.m. Monday at Trico Metal Products on the 2300 block of Wyandotte Road.

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County officials say a second alarm rang at 5:38 p.m. and the fire went to three alarms at 5:43 p.m.

“Moments after being inside the fire conditions overwhelmed the building. It went to three alarms almost instantaneous,” said Willow Grove Fire Department Chief Brian Focht.

(credit: Chopper 3)

(credit: Chopper 3)


The blaze reached four alarms at 6:34 p.m.  It became a five-alarm fire by 7:30 p.m.

“It was a pretty big fire. I mean, it was about maybe five, six stories in the air,” said business owner John O’Connor.

John O’Connor owns a business in the industrial park next door to the scene of the five-alarm blaze.

“We were two buildings away from that. Just got a little bit of smoke damage,” said O’Connor.

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“There was multiple explosions from compressed cast cylinders inside the building,” said Chief Focht.

Billowing black smoke quickly consumed a nearby neighborhood about 200 feet away.

Ashes and charred debris is still littering the yard of two residents from a fire that came far too close for comfort.

“Ashes coming off, floating in the backyard, a few landed on our roof,” said Laura D’uva.

“Flames and a couple big bangs, like pops, and then a few minutes later another one, and then over the course of an hour about four or five more of those, and then you could hear the crackling of wood burning,” said Carmen D’uva.

The D’uvas along with hundreds of other residents lost power briefly during the firefighting efforts. Also, the fire snarled traffic at rush hour along the nearby Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Eyewitness News is told it took 24 fire departments in the area hours to tackle the massive fire. It was placed under control around 8:10 p.m.

Firefighters continue to douse hot spots.

There were no injuries reported.

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The cause of the fire is under investigation.