Driver dead in fiery crash at pool company in Bucks County

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Driver dead in fiery crash at Bucks Co. pool company. Gray Hall reports during Action News at 4pm on August 4, 2017. (WPVI)

A car slammed into a pool supply store in Springfield Township, Bucks County, early Friday morning, touching off a two-alarm fire.

Police say somehow the driver lost control and went careening into the building, located in the 1600 block of North West End Boulevard (Route 309).

Sadly, that driver did not survive.
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Watch video from the Action Cam at the scene of a deadly crash and fire at a pool company in Springfield Twp., Bucks County.

"With the chemicals, all the chlorine supplies for the pool, we were fortunate that there were not more injures or fatalities," said Richland Township Fire and Rescue Chief Keith Schroy.

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Driver dead in Bucks Co. crash: Tamala Edwards reports during Action News at 6:30 a.m. on August 4, 2017.

The frightening images captured by the Action Cam Friday morning hit close to home for the pool shop's employees and customers, and those living in the neighborhood as well.
"Wow, this is where my parents get pool supplies, and it is a great place," said Heather Smale of Quakertown. "And it is sad that this happened."

Because of the dangerous chemicals inside the pool supply business, firefighters say the fire burned hotter and was more intense.

Hazardous materials teams were called in to assist.
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1 dead in fiery crash at Bucks pool company: Tamala Edwards reports during Action News at 6 a.m. on August 4, 2017.

"Everybody got 'decon's'," said Schroy, referring to a decontamination procedure. "They were washed down after the calls because of the chemicals."

Gail Katzbeck, who owns the property, arrived at the scene just minutes after the fire.

"They were just getting the flames out. There were a little bit of flames and you could not see the car," she said. "The car went straight in."

One fatality is too many, but everyone admits this fire could have been much worse. There are nearby businesses and at least six apartments are attached to the pool store.

"This accident caused so little noise that nobody living here woke up that was asleep. He went in and the car burst into flames," said store owner Dave Woods. "Somebody was awake and he saw the flames out of his window and went out and banged on all the apartment doors and got everybody out, or we would have had... who knows what would have happened."

Woods says while it's heartbreaking to see a business he's owned for 18 years go up in flames, but he's more focused and thankful for the lives that were saved.

"This can be rebuilt, and we love what we do and we will rebuild it again," he said.

Police and fire investigators continue to investigate the incident, which shut down Route 309 for more than four hours Friday morning.

The deceased driver has only been identified as being female. Her name is not being released until family is notified.

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Related Topics:
pennsylvania newstraffic accidentSpringfield Township (Bucks County)
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