South Middleton glass plant resumes production after 3-alarm fire

(Credit: Jocelyn Elizabeth)

CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) – A glass leak is blamed for a three-alarm fire Thursday morning at the former PPG plant in South Middleton Township.

The fire at Vitro Architectural Glass was reported just before 10:30 a.m and brought in more than 40 fire companies from around Cumberland County as well as Adams, Dauphin, Franklin, Perry and York counties.

Vitro bought the plant in the 400 block of Park Drive, near Mount Holly Springs, last year.

The company said the leak occurred on one of the two glass melting furnaces at the plant. Employees were temporarily forced out, but production resumed after the fire was put out and workers were told to report for the next shift.

About 340 people are employed at the plant, which manufactures architectural plate glass for building construction.

A county spokeswoman said one person was treated for “very, very minor” injuries.

Tom Faley, a township, watched from his office window as smoke billowed high into the air.

“A huge black cloud emanated from that,” Faley said. “I was over at the township headquarters building over here in Park Drive; a mile, maybe half a mile away. This thing was up 500 feet in the sky.”

Faley says it was the biggest fire he’s seen in his 21 years as a supervisor.

He was concerned for the employees and the township.

“It’s one of our largest industries. You can see that from the hundreds of cars over there,” he said. “They hire a lot of people. They’re very important. They hire a lot of people in South Middleton.”

A damage estimate was not immediately available.

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