Fire crews battle to save Hazleton business - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Fire crews battle to save Hazleton business

HAZLETON (KWWL) -- Fire crews from several departments were on the scene of a welding and vinyl shop fire near Hazleton on Thursday.

Crews were called to Gingerich Welding at 1339 Fairbank-Amish Boulevard at around 12:30 Thursday afternoon.

Flames and thick smoke billowed from the Amish owned vinyl and welding business.

Crews from Fairbank were the first to respond, but additional help from Hazleton, Oelwein and Sumner-Fredericksburg responded to the blaze.

"When we first got here, the barn off to the west was starting to catch fire. We got it knocked down and then we tried to save the other structure, but it got up in the ceiling. Tin below and above pretty well consumed the window shop and then we worked in the wood shop," said Ted Vorwald with the Fairbank Fire Department.

At one point there were sounds of an explosion, which firefighters believe may have been the oxygen tanks inside the vinyl portion of the building.

Around 2 p.m., firefighters believed the fire was half contained. They were not able to save the vinyl shop, but worked to save what they could of the welding portion of the building.

The fire spread quickly and the intense heat created dangerous conditions for firefighters.

"I've heard two firefighters were taken to the hospital. I don't know if it's from injuries or overheating, but two were taken to the hospital," Vorwald said.

As of Thursday evening, part of the building was already being torn down.

Firefighters believe they know where the fire started, but are still investigating how it started.

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