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Harrison Twp. Residents Allowed Back Home Following 3-Alarm Fire
HARRISON TOWNSHIP -- The State Fire Marshall is currently investigating whether or not a fire at Alpine Metal Finishing Products was arson. It happened just before 11 p.m. Friday on Drill Avenue.
We spoke to Joseph Royalty Friday night after police evacuated him and 120 of his neighbors
"First they told us we had to leave and then they evacuated us from the street and then they evacuated us from across the street," said Royalty. "I didn't comprehend it at first it was that dangerous, and then it sunk in."
When we talked to Royalty and his daughter again Saturday they told us they are thankful to be alive after they realized this fire was not just any fire.
"A lot of people don't know how extreme what could've happened last night," said Royalty. "The whole place could've blew up. Fire department, the police, the whole place could've blew up. "It could've been a lot of casualties."
"The building has quite a bit of hazardous material, inventory and flammables so we did a defensive fire and protected exposures," said Harrison Township fire department fire chief Mark Lynch.
"I didn't take anything," said Royalty's daughter Ceara. "I was scared I just left."
After sending residents to Northridge high school for safety and before any of the chemicals in Alpine exploded, more than 100 firefighters put out the flames.
"I was just worried about my house," said Ceara. "I said I hope my house don't burn down because we left our pets here."
"She's only 13 years old," said Royalty. " I had her out in the parking lot until one or two in the morning. "My daughter was crying. I had to leave up there so she can sleep in a car lot. We were planning on staying on the street."
Finally at 4:00 a.m. the families are allowed to return home.
"I didn't get to sleep at all," said Ceara.
"There was no sleep," said Royalty. "Flashing lights, noise, all that stuff."
Firefighters are not ruling out anything at this point as they work to determine what sparked it.
No injuries have been reported but the building is a total loss.
HARRISON TOWNSHIP -- The investigation into a 3-alarm in Harrison Township is underway.
The fire started at Alpine Finishing products just before 11 p.m. Friday.
Dozens of nearby homes were evacuated, though the residents are now being allowed back in.
Officials said the fire is out though they are monitoring some hot spots.
The cause has not been determined yet but the state fire marshal is on scene working to determine it.
No injuries have been reported but the building is a total loss.
Our crew is on the scene and continuing to gather information. Tune in to ABC 22 News at 6 p.m. for a full report.
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