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Fire erupts at meat processing facility in Lackawanna County

The fire broke out around 5:30 p.m. at the Maid-Rite Steak Company meat processing plant.

SCOTT TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Fire engulfed the center building at Maid-Rite Steak Co. Inc. in Scott Township, sending flames high into the night sky.

The fire broke out around 5:30 p.m. on Monday.

Explosions rocked the ground as firefighters from 17 local departments tried to knock down the fire inside the meat processing facility.

The company's human resources director says the building was evacuated after the fire broke out, and everyone is accounted for.

Battling the blaze proved difficult.

Scott Township Fire Chief Matt Pritchyk says a nearby pump did not work, so he called in tanker trucks to retrieve water from a nearby pond.

PennDot crews salted the roads to keep them from freezing.

"Very cold conditions, lots of ice on the ground. Commonwealth Health Ems set up a recovery station for the firefighters battling the blaze in the cold," said John Montes, Commonwealth Health Administrative Director of EMS. "Even on a cold night like this, they blow through a tremendous amount of sweat, they burn; they a lot of calories. So it's really important to get them in, get them a power bar, sit down, take a minute, get their heart rate down, believe it or not, cool off, and get heart rates ready to go back in."

The chief says much of the meat processing area was badly burned, and the offices have heavy smoke and water damage, but there were no reported injuries.

The cause of this fire has been ruled an accident. Authorities think the fire started in a wall.

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