Saturday, December 30, 2023

Cause Undetermined After Early Morning Blaze at Leiby's Dairy; Over $1,000,000 in Damages Estimated

The cause of a fire at Leiby's Dairy in Walker Township is listed as undetermined as the investigation is ongoing.

According to Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal Corey Heimbach of the Reading Barracks, in the early hours of Saturday, December 30, 2023, a fire struck Leiby's Dairy Inc., located at 116 Mountain Road, Walker Township.

The call came in approximately 3:39 AM when a newspaper delivery person noticed smoke emanating from one of the buildings on the property and promptly dialed 911. 

Responding swiftly, the New England Fire Company, along with neighboring mutual aid fire companies dispatched by Schuylkill County 911, rushed to the scene.

Upon arrival, the first units discovered smoke billowing from the building, prompting the escalation of the incident to a 2-alarm fire, calling for additional manpower and tankers. Firefighting efforts faced a significant challenge due to water supply issues, necessitating the transportation of water from a nearby pond on a farm to the scene.

The building collapsed before firefighters could put out the fire. To address this, heavy equipment was brought in to clear debris and aid in uncovering hidden pockets of fire. 

Primarily used for storage and on-site wastewater treatment equipment, the building suffered irreparable damage, with preliminary estimates exceeding $1,000,000.

Despite the severity of the incident, there were no reported injuries among firefighters or civilians. The company was not operating at the time of the fire.

The Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal Unit has initiated an investigation into the cause of the fire, which remains undetermined at this point. 

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