LATEST| Vitro urging workers to show up for next shift, say plant is not closed after fire


Crews from six surrounding counties were called to the scene of a fire at Vitro Architectural Glass in Carlisle after a tub holding thousands of gallons of molten glass eroded, causing the entire three-story tank to melt through the floor, sparking a massive fire, according to Rachel Bryson, spokesperson for Cumberland County.

“A glass leak was discovered on one of the two glass melting furnaces at Vitro’s Float Glass Plant near Carlisle. The extent of the damage is not yet known. Company officials are assessing the situation and will have more information when it is available," Teal Gaylord, Human Resources Director of Vitro Architectural Glass, said.

Thick black smoke could be seen several miles away billowing up from the plant, formerly known as PPG Industries, following the three-alarm fire.

Dozens of employees were evacuated from the plant as a result.

"There were cars all through here around 10:30/ 11 o clock watching the fire, they cleared them out and said the reason they were doing it, they were fearful of an explosion," Middleton Township Supervisor Tom Faley said.

Bryson confirmed to CBS21 News Hazmat and DEP investigators have been called to the scene.

"This is just a precaution," she said.

Officials tell CBS21 News firefighters have also been evacuated from the building due to concerns of 'structure instability' in the basement of the facility.

Bryson also explained one worker was transported to the hospital with very minor injuries.

The fire is contained and officials are not calling for a community evacuation at this time.

The fire began just after 11 a.m. at the facility on 400 Park Drive in Carlisle. The fire escalated to a third alarm with requests for more firefighters, hoses and a single EMS crew.

All roads leading to the plant are currently closed by first responders.

So far, officials are still determining the extent of the damage. Meanwhile, Vitro is getting back to business as usual.

"Our plant, Tom Abbas, is asking that I communicate to the media that our plant is not closed and he would like all employees to know that they should report for their shifts as normal," Gaylord said.

While earlier today, employees showing up for their shifts were being turned away, the company is now urging workers to show up for their next shift begining at 7 p.m. tonight.

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