Jiffy Lube catches fire in Salisbury Township

Blaze quickly goes to 3 alarms as firefighters battle intense flames

Published: Jan 06 2014 12:06:19 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 06 2014 05:37:27 PM EST
Jiffy Lube fire
SALISBURY TWP., Pa. -

A 3-alarm fire destroyed a business in Salisbury Twp., Lehigh Co., on Monday. 

The fire broke out just before noon at the Jiffy Lube on Lehigh Street. It started with smoke, but bright orange flames shooting from the top of the building welcomed crews when they arrived.

"You saw a big cloud of smoke first," described Travis Hebner. "About 15 minutes later, there was about a two-foot fire."

"Within like five minutes, little flames started shooting out the top, and within ten minutes the whole side was on fire," added William Konopka.

"The whole thing was just up in flames," Dakota Edwards shared. "Smoke everywhere, and next thing you know, there's just a ton of fire trucks coming in."

Fifty firefighters from eight companies were dispatched to battle the blaze. Crews said they had it under control in about 45 minutes. 

Four workers were inside the building when the flames started, but no one was hurt and no cars were damaged.

"What we believe happened is we have a fire in a gas-powered heater located in the ceiling. That fire spread to the roof and basically worked its way down the roof and over to the other bays," explained Dep. Chief Jason Faryniak, Western Salisbury Fire Co.

He said the fire moved fast, and it turned into a defensive fight. The intense flames made the ceiling and some of the walls inside the service center collapse.

"We just could not safely access the fire due to the roof being unsafe for firefighters to step on," Faryniak said.  "We had to pull all the firefighters off the roof and resort to large streams of water being shot from the ladder trucks that are on location."

The fire is still under investigation.

Next door, the workers at Affinity Truck & Auto Sales watched helplessly, hoping the flames wouldn't spread to their business.

"Everything seems fine though, they got it out quick," said Konopka.  "The wind was blowing the other way, thank God, so it blew all the flames and smoke that way, pushed away from the business."

Besides the fire, crews also had to deal with leaking boxes of motor oil inside the shop. Officials said the Jiffy Lube will most likely need to be torn down.