By Kaylee Lindenmuth
RINGTOWN - A massive blaze engulfed and destroyed a Ringtown Valley beer distributor Thursday afternoon, drawing emergency crews from across four counties to battle the flames.
The blaze broke out around 3:15pm Thursday, and arriving crews from Ringtown immediately requested a second alarm, finding heavy fire at the business.
Shortly thereafter, a third alarm and a tanker task force assignment was requested, drawing fire crews from Shenandoah, Mahanoy City, Ashland, Girardville, Frackville, Sheppton, Nuremberg, Harwood, Hazle Township, Aristes, Cressona, Mount Carbon, and more to the scene.
A Ringtown fire chief said explosions, believed to be CO2 tanks, caused further damage to the building and helped spread the fire.
No injuries were reported in the fire.
The majority of the damage was confined to the distributor, though a neighboring funeral home, Stauffer-Breznik's, suffered damage to its siding.
Fire crews began to clear the scene around 5:30pm, as remaining firefighters handled hotspots.
A State Police fire marshal has been called in to investigate.
Smoke and flames were visible from across the Ringtown Valley as crews battled the fire.
Tankers shuttled water between fill sites in Pattersonville and near Brandonville throughout the incident.
Assisting firefighters at the scene were crews from Shenandoah Ambulance, Area Services Ambulance out of Northumberland County, and Ringtown Police, among others.
According to PP&L's outage map, about 11 customers were without power in the area of the fire around 6:00pm. It was estimated power would be restored around 6:30pm.
Shenandoah's Rescue Hook & Ladder Squrt 64-20 suffered damage from the fire as well.
A full photo gallery will be posted soon.
Sherry Streeter contributed to this report
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