An employee of an East Taylor Township garage was slightly burned on Tuesday afternoon while trying to put out a fire that went on to consume the business.

Alan Buchan, East Taylor Township fire chief, said that workers at William Penn Auto, 837 William Penn Ave., discovered that something was burning when they broke for lunch and went into a different part of the business.

“It was getting too far gone by the time they tried to extinguish it themselves,” Buchan said. “The fire was through the roof by the time the fire department arrived.”

In addition to East Taylor Township, firefighters and equipment from Johnstown, East Conemaugh, Franklin, Dale, Jackson Township, Cover Hill, West Taylor Township, Nanty Glo, Seward, Windber, Dauntless and Revloc companies responded.

Even with all the manpower, access to some of the structure was difficult.

“We had to stretch hand lines around back because we couldn’t get a vehicle in that well,” Buchan said.

After the roof collapsed, firefighters used a piece of equipment from the business and removed sections of the structure to access still-burning areas.

A state police fire marshal will investigate, although Buchan said the blaze has been ruled accidental. The building is “very, very damaged,” he said.

Ambulance personnel from Conemaugh Valley EMS treated the employee for a minor burn.

Patrick Buchnowski is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 532-5061. Follow him on Twitter @PatBuchnowskiTD.

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