SHENANDOAH, Pa. - Dozens of firefighters battled a massive blaze in Schuylkill County Friday morning.

Fire was reported around 3:45 a.m. at the former United Wiping Cloth manufacturing plant on East Lloyd Street in Shenandoah.

United Wiping Cloth factory fire in Shenandoah _ courtesy Shenandoah Sentinel

Several alarms were struck for additional manpower and water as crews tried to contain the fire amid freezing temperatures.

"Cold temperatures, freezing lines...The ice was a killer for everybody to get around as well," said Chief Rick Examitas, Shenandoah fire company.

Flames and smoke still consumed the industrial building hours later, and even after the bulk of the blaze was out, crews spent hours putting out hotspots.

The fire chief said the old structure made fighting the fire even more difficult.

"That's what's making it tough to even try to make the attack on the existing fire yet," Examitas said.

Shenandoah factory fire 2

One man was inside the building at the time of the fire, but he was able to safely escape, the chief said.

The fire also spread to nearby rowhomes, damaging several.

No injuries were reported, but cleanup and overhaul of the structure is expected to take hours, officials said.

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