Fire At Plastics Warehouse Still Burning 24 Hours Later October 5, 2016 5:25 PM By Amy Yensi
BALTIMORE HIGHLANDS, Md. (WJZ) —More than 24 hours after flames broke out at a warehouse in Baltimore County, the smoke is still rising, the rubble smoldering and firefighters are hard at work.
On Tuesday, more than 200 fighters battled the 3-alarm blaze at Adell Plastics Inc. located in the 4500 block of Annapolis Road.
Baltimore County Police said on Wednesday they were continuing their effort to extinguish the blaze– fueled by cardboard boxes and plastic beads.
“What they were storing there is little plastic beads, the pellets that they melt down to make plastic products. That’s what stored there. That’s what’s burning,” said Paul Massarelli of the Baltimore County Fire Department.
The fire caused wall and roof collapses within the structure which made the fire fight even more difficult.
“It’s been product burning, the building is not so much burning but everything that was in this warehouse is now burning,” Massarelli says. “Cranes came in to knock the walls down, the roof fell on top of the fire, so now we have a tin roof sitting on top of a fire that we can not penetrate with water.”
Officials say the focal point of the operation was preventing the fire from spreading to an area where hazardous materials were stored.
“There is a fire barrier, a fire wall, between the warehouse and the area where the hazmats are. We are keeping the area cooled down and keeping the fire away from that area,” said Massarelli .
All employees did make it out of the building as filled the warehouse.
One firefighter was treated for heat exhaustion.
Official say even though there were hazmat in the area there is no reason for concern.
County building engineers have ruled the building unsafe, and demolition crews are dismantling the building so firefighters can get to the seat of the fire.
3-alarm fire in Baltimore Highlands
Fire fighters battle a three-alarm fire at Adell Plastics in Baltimore. (Kim Hairston, Baltimore Sun video)
Pamela Wood The Baltimore Sun
A three-alarm fire is burning at a Baltimore Highlands industrial building in Baltimore County.
A three-alarm fire raged at a Baltimore County plastic company on Tuesday afternoon, drawing more than 200 firefighters to battle the blaze.
Thick black smoke streamed from the warehouse at Adell Plastics in the 4500 block of Annapolis Road in Baltimore Highlands. The smoke was visible for miles.
Plastic pellets stored in the warehouse were burning, said Lt. Paul Massarelli, a spokesman for the Baltimore County Fire Department.
The fire was reported at 1:07 p.m., and the first crews saw smoke and fire before they even arrived and called for more crews. Once at the warehouse, firefighters called for a second alarm, Massarelli said.
When the first firefighters went inside, "the fire flashed over them" and they retreated outside and called for a third alarm, Massarelli said.
Firefighters attacked the fire from the outside because the building was unsafe, with some of the walls collapsing. Two hours after the fire began, fire was still shooting from part of the building as firefighters on ladder trucks poured water on the building from multiple angles.
All of the employees got out safely without injuries. One firefighter was being treated for heat exhaustion and had been taken to a hospital, Massarelli said.
The cause of the fire is under investigation and the amount of the damage wasn't available. Massarelli said he expects the damage to be extensive.
Angela Glorioso, 34, was working in the warehouse when she said she saw an orange glow from a part of the building where there wouldn't normally be any heat-related activity. The company takes plastic, melts it down, adds chemicals and turns it into pellets that are sold to other companies, she said.
"I started screaming: 'Fire! Fire! Fire!" Glorioso said.
Glorioso and the other warehouse workers scrambled out of the building. Glorioso said she called 911 and ran around to the front office to alert the staff to the fire.
Company officials at the scene declined to comment.
Shortly after 5 p.m., a team from BGE shut off a gas line and flames that had been shooting from one side of the building were no longer visible
More than 200 firefighters and dozens of pieces of equipment responded to the fire. Baltimore County crews came from as far away as Middle River. Crews also came from Baltimore City, Howard County, Anne Arundel County and BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport.
Massarelli said it would take several more hours to bring the fire under control.