Fire destroys trucking company in Hammond, Ind.

Fire and then explosions destroyed a trucking company in northwest Indiana, which thick black smoke seen for miles.
July 27, 2013 3:22:58 PM PDT
Fire and then explosions destroyed a trucking company in northwest Indiana, which thick black smoke seen for miles.

It happened Saturday morning at Bulk Express at 131st Place and Sheffield Avenue in Hammond, Indiana.

There is not much left of Bulk Express after the fire. Investigators are still trying to determine what caused the blaze, but they do say it appears the fire was sparked when a two-man crew was working on a tanker inside a maintenance shop that simply no longer exists.

Smoke could still be seen coming from the industrial yard where first fire then several explosions erupted just hours earlier.

Security guard Terry Farmer, who was on patrol nearby, says it all happened around 9 Saturday morning.

"I heard a bunch of popping sounds, then I opened the door and seen all the smoke. The flames were about 25 feet high," Farmer said.

The fire broke out at Bulk Express in Hammond, Indiana.

The company's website says it specializes in hauling liquid tar and asphalt. company officials say the fire began as a mechanic and one of the drivers worked on a valve on the back of an asphalt tanker.

"Apparently they got a chunk of dried product out of there and they couldn't get the product to stop flowing and it floated in the shop and it ignited things in the shop," said Greg Lynch, Bulk Express.

The flames spread to two other buildings and a tanker and very close to a propane tank.

The BP fire department was called in to help.

The fire was out about an hour later, the damage causing a complete loss.

"We don't know how exactly how it started or what on the ground caught fire," said Hammond Fire Chief Jeff Smith.

Two employees were inside the yard when the fire broke out. One injured his back as he tried to escape the flames. He was taken to the hospital, but there is no word on his condition.


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