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Estimate: Chemical plant fire caused $20 million in damages

Written by Jennifer Wentz, Hanover Evening Sun | Jul 7, 2015 10:36 AM
millerchemicalremnants.jpg

Photo by Hanover Evening Sun

This file photo shows Miller Chemical's facility, following a fire that caused an estimated $20 million in damages.

(Conewago Township) -- A June 8 fire at Miller Chemical and Fertilizer caused roughly $20 million in damage to the property, Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal Bradley Dunham says.

The marshal has spent nearly a month investigating the fire, which swept through the Adams County fertilizer distributor's facility at 170 Radio Road.

The exact cause of the blaze remains undetermined because of the extensive amount of damage to the property, police said.

Investigators believe the fire started in a packaging room at the southern end of the facility, near an area where electrical service enters that part of the plant, the release states.

The blaze, which started in the early hours of the morning, awoke neighbors with explosions and thick smoke, and firefighers were still clearing smoldering rubble days later. Runoff from firefighting efforts caused temporary contamination of nearby waterways, environmental officials said.

Company officials believe the fire was started by an electrical circuit malfunction, according to a statement released in mid-June, but police were not able to confirm that belief.

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