Damage in Shady Grove pallet building fire set at $1 million

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot
The nearby home at the family-owned Shank Pallet Recyclers was untouched, but the main business facility was taken down by a fire reported just after midnight. Fire companies controlled the flames, and employees worked in the clean-up, to salvage what they could.

An early morning fire Wednesday destroyed the warehouse of a Shady Grove business, and brought firefighters in from six counties to battle the blaze. Greencastle Rescue Hose Co. No. 1 responded to a 12:44 a.m. call to Shank Pallet Recyclers Inc., 1620 Buchanan Trail E., along Route 16.

The warehouse, stacks of wooden pallets, and shipping trailers were consumed by fire and heat. Employees were moving loads out of the way by 8:30 a.m. once fire trucks had left the scene, though wood was still burning and smoldering across the complex.

The Pennsylvania State Police fire marshall was on the scene to investigate the cause of the fire. By mid-afternoon no cause had been determined, but damage was estimated at over $1 million.

RHC assistant fire chief Dave Hann said crews from six counties arrived to fight the fire: Franklin, Adams, Cumberland and Fulton in Pennsylvania; and Washington and Frederick in Maryland. In addition, transfer crews from Juniata County in Pennsylvania, and Berkeley and Morgan counties in West Virginia covered calls of the responding stations.

Fire police redirected traffic from Ridge, Gearhart and Hades Church roads, said one of the volunteers, though initially the list included Long Lane. A Waynesboro officer had heard reports that flames and billowing smoke were visible from Blue Ridge Summit to Mercersburg on the clear night.

Hann was grateful for equipment brought in by Antrim Township and Manitowoc Cranes.  No one was injured, he said, although a few firefighters were checked out for heat and smoke exposure. No one had to be taken to a medical facility. The Shanks Pallet owner would be monitoring the status of the piles after crews were gone mid-morning, he said.

“This will smolder a couple days,” said Hann.