Firefighters from across the area are battling an apparent explosion-turned two-alarm blaze at an East Conemaugh garage.

Much of First and Second streets in the borough have been closed to traffic and nearby homes have been evacuated while fire crews were continuing to attack the fire from all sides as of 3:30 p.m.

At one point just minutes earlier, much of the structure's roof and a portion of one wall collapsed onto the ground below, prompting numerous firefighters to quickly back off, before continuing their attack.

It appeared several vehicles were parked inside the brick and mortar garage. All of them were charred.

The fire was reported shortly before 3 p.m. on the 300 block of Second Street in the borough, where a thick plume of dark smoke was visible in many parts of the area.

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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