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Fire that destroyed historic former site of Franklin Glass rekindles twice

November 16, 2019 News Extra

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Flames that ripped through the former Franklin Glass plant on Hicks Road in Renfrew rekindled not once, but twice throughout the day Saturday. The initial rekindling Saturday morning resulted in the loss of an attached building that housed rental garages. Several tenants reported losing everything from equipment to classic cars.

PENN TWP — A huge fire that severely damaged a historic, commercial building Friday night rekindled once Saturday morning - causing heavy damages to an attached building with shops and garages - and then a second time Saturday afternoon.

Seven fire departments responded when the fire was initially reported at 9 p.m. Friday at a large, brick building 103 Hicks Road, former home of the Franklin Glass plant. Four of the departments returned at 8:30 a.m. Saturday when the fire reignited, according to Chief Bill Glace, of the Penn Township Volunteer Fire Department.

Shortly after 2 p.m., firefighters were again called out to the Hicks Road location due to fire rekindling a second time.

“We arrived about 9 o'clock last night. It was fully involved. It was a total loss,” Glace said. “We had a rekindle today.”

The roof of the old glass plant building was destroyed Friday night leaving the entire building unsafe and in danger of collapsing, he said.

“There's nothing holding the thing together,” Glace said.

Glace said state police fire marshals have been called in to determine the cause of the fire.

Some of the tenants who rented garages in the attached building said they came to their shops Friday night to make sure their vehicles and other property were safe and didn't leave until early morning hours Saturday.

They returned after the fire rekindled to find that the fire spread to the garages and destroyed their property.

Volunteer fire departments from Penn, Connoquenessing, Middlesex and Butler townships, Evans City, Herman and Saxonburg responded to the fire.

This story is an excerpt. For the full story and more pictures, make sure to pick up Monday's Butler Eagle or subscribe online.

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