Fire destroys work barn at Westmoreland business


WESTMORELAND — The work barn at Shafer & Sons storage sheds was heavily damaged by fire early this morning, according to local fire officials.

A quick response by multiple volunteer departments helped save some of the offices and other property at the family-owned business on Route 233, fire officials added.

“There was heavy fire and smoke through the center of the building,” said Westmoreland Fire Chief Jeff Grube.

“We just knocked it down from the outside, blitz attack. We stopped it from getting into the office and from getting into a larger part,” the Westmoreland chief said.

Grube said that a sheriff’s deputy on patrol noticed the fire and contacted the 9-1-1 Center at 1:55 a.m.

Volunteers from five departments respond to the property at 4932 Route 233, making use of nearby hydrants to launch an exterior attack.

Grube said they attempted a slight interior attack, but refocused their efforts from the outside.

No one was in the building at the time of the fire.

Grube said the pole barn structure was used for constructing the company’s storage sheds.

The flames took about 40 minutes to knock down, the chief said. Crews worked to keep the fire from spreading into an office in the same building.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, Grube said. It so far does not appear to be suspicious. No firefighters were injured in the fire.

According to local reports, portions of Route 233 in Westmoreland were closed while firefighters battled the blaze and National Grid was called to shut off power to the structure

Route 233 was closed in both directions between East South Road and East Main Street, but was reopened shortly after the fire was put out.

The company has been owned by the Shafer family for more than 30 years, Grube said, adding that they are insured.

The Westmoreland, Clark Mills, Clinton, Stanwix Heights and Vernon fire departments responded..


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