A fire with multiple explosions, "multiple vehicles, possibly tankers involved," is reported at Kistner Concrete Products, Inc., 8713 Read Road, Town of Pembroke. East Pembroke fire chief responding told dispatch "I can't get close enough -- multiple explosions." East Pembroke Fire Department is responding along with mutual aid from Oakfield, Darien, Alexander and Town of Batavia.
UPDATE 12:08 a.m.: Pembroke Fire Department is asked to stand by in East Pembroke's fire hall.
UPDATE 12:09 a.m.: Mercy medic #2 is requested to the scene on Read Road.
UPDATE 12:18 a.m.: A dispatcher tells command: "My partner spoke with the owner and he explained what was happening. He's been updated about the situation."
UPDATE 12:22 a.m.: Howard at the scene says the fire is out. A semi-truck was completely destroyed and a flatbed truck adjacent to it was heavily damaged.
UPDATE 12:29 a.m.: East Pembroke Fire Chief Don Newton told Howard: "I don't know what blew up. We were sitting at the fire hall when we heard the explosion. I've heard tires explode and they never sounded that loud."
UPDATE 1:55 a.m.: Photos and more information from Chief Don Newton.
Newton said he and two other members of the department were burning the midnight oil at the Fire Hall working on reports when they heard a series of booms.
"It sounded like thunder," Newton said. "Well, actually, it sounded like more than thunder, so we walked outside then I heard about 10 more explosions and I said there's more than just thunder going on."
Newton and the other firefighters got into his personal vehicle and went out to scout the area. A short drive down Route 5 and they spotted the orange glow in the sky at Kistner Concrete. They swung down Bennett Road, but couldn't get into the yard because of the locked gates and barriers. Newton said he could see a truck was on fire and it looked as though the fire could have spread to other vehicles. He was worried whether there might be a structure nearby.
"I couldn't tell if there was a building around it or not because the smoke was thick and it was black and it was dark," Newton said. "You couldn't see anything except for the orange glow."
Newton radioed dispatch and immediately requested a second alarm. He took the firefighters with him back to the Fire Hall and they rolled two engines.
The gate off Read Road was locked, so Newton used one of the trucks to pull it down so they could get access to the fire.
Soon, other volunteers arrived on scene and the East Pembroke crew with the aid of Oakfield, Town of Batavia, Darien and Alexander, was able to quickly get the fire knocked down (Pembroke and Indian Falls provided fill-in at East Pembroke's hall).
The quick response likely saved another truck that was sitting next to the one that caught fire as well as a piece of machinery on the neighboring flatbed trailer.
The cause of the fire is still undetermined, but was possibly electrical.
The truck's saddle tanks were brimming with fuel, ready for the next day's work, but a lot of things could have exploded, not just those tanks.
"The explosions could have been everything from tires to the fuel tanks to the air chambers," Newton said. "There's a lot of pressurized units on these trucks. This truck was last used on Friday, so it's very possible everything could still have been pressurized on it."
People reported hearing the explosions as far away as Wortendyke Road and the Village of Corfu.