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Fire crews battle 3-alarm blaze at Beacon Container in Birdsboro

By Jamie Peter, Assignment Editor, JPeter@wfmz.com
Published On: Mar 29 2013 07:24:20 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 30 2013 05:13:04 PM CDT

Berks County fire hits 3 alarms, rekindles

BIRDSBORO, Pa. -

Crews went head-to-head with a three-alarmer at a packaging company in Birdsboro. The fire broke out just after 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Beacon Container company.

Six fire companies came out to control the fire at the manufacturing plant. The initial call came in from someone in the neighborhood who saw smoke and from the alarm company.

On early Saturday morning, crews were called back to the scene after the fire rekindled, according to officials.

The owner, Steve Walter, said they make corrugated cardboard from rolls of paper and there is a very large machine in the building that runs the length of the whole block. While firefighters were working Walter didn't know what caused the fire or what damage it had done. But he said firefighters told him signs looked promising that the bulk of the fire was in the roof of the building and not within the structure.

There are 121 employees at the plant, who had off because of Good Friday. But many of them showed up to see what happened.

"It's scary you know to see it even for the owner he just bought this place recently," said Sandy Steffy, "I've been here 10 years cleaning. To stand here and watch it."

"It's very difficult, it is," said Walter, "Everything for a lot of us we've put so much into Beacon for many years. It's very very upsetting and everyone's concerned, but I know we'll be able to work through it."

Walter said he bought the company a little more than a year ago, but he's been with Beacon Container for 25 years.

People are so grateful no one was inside the building and some were concerned if anyone would lose their job because of the damage. But the owner said he plans on having people back here on Monday ready to work.