Friday, July 13 2012, 09:42 PM CDT
Ashland business goes up in flames after several explosions
By Jenica Villamor/KTVL.com
ASHLAND, Ore.-- Aaren Glover says he watched 12 years go down the drain after a fire destroyed his business Friday.
As crews worked to control the fire on Benson Way, Glover can't figure out what went wrong.
"We had many safety precautions and fire high tech fire protection," he said.
Ashland Fire and Fire District 5 responded to explosions at Alchemical Solutions around 10 a.m.
When they arrived, the business was on fire and the doors and windows were blown out.
Crews evacuated more than a dozen people working nearby.
"Smoke went up a couple hundred feet and it was really black," said Chris Chambers, pubic informatin officer with Ashland Fire and Rescue.
Alchemical Solutions is a distillery that makes alcohol for herbal medicines. Crews knew chemicals were involved, but didn't know what they were or how much.
However, firefighters were concerned about the hundreds of gallons of alcohol inside.
"That fire is dangerous because it doesn't put out smoke or flames and it's hard to fight because you can't really see it," Chambers said.
It took crews about a half hour to get the fire under control and more than an hour to put it out.
Firefighters don't know what triggered the explosion, but Glover may know where it started.
"It looks like the boiler exploded because the door to the boiler room is blown off," he said.
No one was hurt and the fire is still under investigation.
Meanwhile, there are no major damages to nearby businesses.