A fire destroyed the maintenance garage at a business in the Linfield section of Limerick on Friday night.
The oblong, corrugated metal building at Potty Queen, a business that rents portable toilets and similar products, was almost completely obliterated by the fire, which produced a thick plume of dark smoke that could be seen for miles as daylight faded Friday evening.
The fire was under control by 9:45 p.m. No injuries were reported. Firefighting efforts were slightly impeded by the lack of fire hydrants in the vicinity of the fire. Tanker trucks were seen shuttling between the fire scene and a water source adjacent to the Costco store on Evergreen Road.
Two trucks that were said to be in the garage for repairs were also destroyed in the fire. Their burned out shells were the most prominent objects still standing at the scene as firefighters continued to spray water on the garage's "hot spots" at about 10:30 p.m.
The cause of the fire was under investigation. Detectives from the Montgomery County Fire & Arson unit walked through the remains of the garage late Friday night and were seen pausing to closely examine selected areas and pieces of debris.
Many of the business's vehicles and inventory were arrayed around the perimeter of the property and appeared to be essentially undamaged by the fire.
A Potty Queen employee who spoke on the condition that his name not be published said that he was the last person to leave the premises at about 6:30 p.m. Friday. The fire was dispatched shortly before 8:30 p.m.
"There was nobody here," the employee said. "We turned everything off."
Linfield Fire Company was assisted at the scene by Limerick Fire Company, Royersford Fire Company, Sanatoga Fire Company, Ringing Hill Fire Company, Perkiomen Fire Company, Norco Fire Company, Liberty Fire Company, and Ridge Fire Company.
Fire police closed Evergreen Road, most of Sanatoga Road, and portions of Linfield and Possum Hollow Roads as fire operations continued. All roads through the area were reopened at about 11:45 p.m. Friday night.
Earlier story and updates below.
The fire is currently under control and the firefighters are doing overhaul work. They are still battling hot spots.
David Powell reports that fire company tanker trucks are filling up near the Costco on Lightcap Road and then driving in to the fire scene. Several more companies, including Spring City, Perkiomen and Ringing Hill Fire Companies have arrived to help.
According to county police and fire radio, the first callers regarding the fire reported hearing explosions on the property. A radio report at 8:30pm described at least one building on the property as "fully involved".
Additional fire vehicles could be seen waiting in the parking lot of the Philadelphia Premium Outlets.
A fire at a commercial/industrial property on South Sanatoga Road in Limerick sent large black plume of smoke into the sky on Friday night.
The fire at the Potty Queen/Rinehart's Sanitation company resulted in multiple fire companies responding. Linfield, Limerick, Royersford, Sanatoga, Ridge, and Norco Fire Companies, as well as Goodwill Ambulance are all at the scene.
The Pennsylvania state fire marshal is on his way to the scene.
Live power lines are said to be down across South Sanatoga Road near the scene of the fire. A PECO truck was observed entering the fire area at 9:01PM.
Either the Pennsylvania state fire marshal or Limerick Police Chief William Albany will be giving a briefing on the situation.
Patch editor David Powell is at the scene and we will have updates as soon as possible.