Alcohol Distillery Explosion

, Written by Travis Koch, Posted: Fri, July 13 2012 at 6:37 PM, Updated: Fri, July 13 2012 at 6:48 PM

An explosion inside a local building with gallons of medical-grade alcohol inside. Nearby businesses in the industrial park in Ashland were forced to evacuate while crews battled the fire and hazardous material.

Just before 10AM an explosion inside this building sent fire crews scrambling. Inside, is Alchemical Solutions, a manufacturer of pharmaceutical-grade alcohol. A product used to save lives in this case it put lives in jeopardy.Somewhere the highly flammable substance was leaking. It took crews nearly an hour to get inside the building. Water hoses hit the fire, electricians worked to cut the power and a hazmat crew dashed to find the leaking alcohol.
Outside a pungent odor filled the air and a cloud of smoke in the sky. Across the street, witnesses evacuated, but the fire only drew more attention as flames shot to the roof. Nearby, workers at Dagoba, a chocolate manufacture also left their building.The fire got so hot it  deformed parts of the metal structure, windows were blown out and at least one car was damaged. No one knows how the fire started or what caused the explosion, at least two of these containers have been destroyed. During the investigations Police also found a marijuana grow in a neighboring building that suffered damage during the fire. Undercover officers are serving a search warrant. It's unclear if that played a role in this investigation or if the marijuana operation is legal. More will follow.

About the Author

Travis Koch

News at Sunrise Co-Anchor Travis Koch started his career as a filmmaker. He wrote and directed documentaries about traveling and extreme sports.

Among his many life experiences, he was a dog musher in Alaska and a baker in Minnesota. Travis began his career at NBC5 News as a weekend photographer and has continued to follow his dreams in television broadcasting and multimedia.

Catch Travis co-anchoring with Jennifer Elliott weekdays on NBC 5 News at Sunrise starting at 5:30am.

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