Investigation begins in Bucks Co. chemical co. fire (PHOTOS)

November 20, 2012 2:29:38 PM PST
The flames have been extinguished, so now the investigation begins into the massive fire at a chemical company in Bucks County.


The fire broke out around 5:30 a.m. at the Arbonite Division of P & R Industries, Inc., located on the 3800 block of Old Easton Road in Buckingham Township.

Officials say upon arrival, firefighters saw flames coming through the roof of the facility. Local fire crews wasted no time striking a third alarm.

Larry Browne of the Doylestown Fire Department explains, "We needed the man power and the water. You know, the water around here is a little spotty so we brought in tankers to help us out."

In the end 18 fire companies from Bucks and Montgomery Counties showed up to help out, and it still took two hours to bring the blaze under control.

Arbonite is an industrial business that manufactures protective coatings, linings and paints. 55 gallon drums were stored inside the building, though their contents are not known at this time.

The owners of this facility on Old Easton Road say they are amazed at the speed and power of the fire that leveled their business.

Mimi Somp, company manager at Arbonite, tells Action News, "All of our rubber area and all of our PVC area is gone. And it's going to take a while to rebuild."

Arbonite employs 25 people. So Action News asked Mimi Somp if they will now be forced to lay-off workers with the holidays right around the corner. She tells us, "I hope not. Most of them will be able to work - hopefully. We'll just have to play it by ear until we see how much damage is done in there."

One firefighter was taken to Doylestown Hospital for treatment due to some sort of medical episode, but it appears that the medical condition was pre-existing.

Hazmat crews say they successfully contained runoff water from the plant ad say the air quality is safe.

There is no word on what sparked the blaze.

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