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Black smoke visible miles away from commercial fire in Lehigh Co.

By Jamie Stover, Reporter, JStover@wfmz.com
Published On: Nov 20 2013 11:01:58 AM CST
Updated On: Nov 21 2013 04:34:48 AM CST

Firefighters were dispatched Wednesday to a multi-alarm fire that sent a plume of thick, black smoke high into the air.

VERA CRUZ, Pa. -

A fire in Lehigh County turned heads throughout the region Wednesday afternoon.

The fire was reported shortly before noon at the Seedway seed plant, 5901 Vera Cruz Rd., in Upper Milford Township.

The Department of Environmental Protection was called in to investigate underground tanks on the property.

There was no immediate word of any injuries.

Officials have not yet ruled on a cause or released details about the extent of the damage, but a witness told 69 News that the two buildings that caught fire did not appear to be a total loss.

Those who saw the smoke said it was hard to ignore.

"When I walked out of my door, there was smoke all over," said Jamie Klopchin.

Klopchin said she first heard of the smoke from her nephew, who lives in Whitehall Twp., Lehigh Co. She later got a call from her son, a firefighter in the area who was called to battle the fire.

"It's his first fire. It's very scary.  It's a big fire up there," Klopchin said.

Klopchin said the black smoke stopped traffic near her house.

"There were at least 50 cars by where the fire was. I could barely get through. People were getting pictures," Klopchin said.

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Gerald Hottle said he heard the sirens before he saw the smoke, but he quickly learned that news traveled fast.

"People from all over the area. One fellow from Tamaqua, another from Topton.  It was everyone. People seen it all over, Limeport," said Hottle, who also saw the smoke Wednesday.

Hottle said he never saw anything like it.

"It was just belched.  The smoke went and rolled, and was doing things. I mean it was like rolling," Hottle said.

Aubree Wolf caught a glimpse of the fire while at school on Wednesday.

"When I was at school today, I saw fire, not fire, but smoke coming from over behind the trees," Wolf said.

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