Fire chief: Egg Beater-laden truck ignites in East Manchester Twp., leaks 50 gallons of diesel


A fire that demolished a tractor-trailer Tuesday afternoon resulted in about 50 gallons of diesel ending up in the storm drains and a nearby creek, according to Union Fire Co. No. 1 Chief Joe Stevens.

Emergency responders, including hazmat personnel clad in their cobalt-blue jumpsuits, responded at 3:43 p.m. to reports of a fire on the property of the Americold warehouse at 60 Steam Boat Blvd., just off of North George Street, in East Manchester Township.

When they arrived, they found that a truck that had backed up against the warehouse to unload had caught fire, Stevens said. He said the fire appears accidental and likely started in the cab's sleeper section with some sort of electrical malfunction.

The fiberglass cab burned quickly, he said. By the time they'd extinguished the fire, nothing much above the chassis remained.

The chief said the fire had spread to the trailer, where the refrigeration unit had ignited.

The diesel leaked from that and from the engine, with much ending up in the storm drain and some in a nearby creek, Stevens said. He said the York County Hazardous Materials Response Team was setting up booms in the drain and creek to contain the fuel spill. The EPA had been notified, he said.

Egg Beaters: As crews got ready to move the tractor-trailer out with a big tow truck, a pungent aroma hung over the parking lot where the fire had burned – maybe thanks to the truck's contents.

"I think it had a load of Egg Beaters in there," Stevens said, referring to the egg-white product that's lower in cholesterol and calories than whole eggs.

Americold's website says the company works with "temperature-controlled warehousing and logistics to the food industry" and operates more than 175 warehouses around the world.

The fire did not extend into what the website says is a 4,397,601-square-foot warehouse, the chief said.

A man who was identified by himself and others as a supervisor at the warehouse said neither he nor other employees would comment on the incident.

All warehouse employees safely evacuated the building, and no firefighters were hurt while battling the blaze, Stevens said.

— Reach Sean Philip Cotter at