Firefighters poured more than five-hundred thousand gallons of water on a Lander Monday morning.
The fire started around 8:00 am and quickly needed more twenty fire fighters and ten trucks to help put it out.
Lander Police Lieutenant Alan McComie told News 13, “The flames, we had some probably 20-30 foot flames at times coming out of the top of the building when it was vented, they were putting a lot of water on the building at this point.”
Lance Hopkin, Lander’s Public Works Director, shared, “Currently using about two-thousand gallons per minute, we can make three thousand gallons per minute at the plant so we’re offsetting the usage being put on the fire right now.”
Hopkin added even with so much water used, there shouldn’t be a reason Lander residents would be short of water for normal use.
“Well right now we’re okay, we’re going to keep an eye on it throughout the day if we have a public notice that needs to be issued we’ll try to get that out through our website, through Facebook and social media as far as slowing down usage.”
Many Main Street businesses had to close because traffic was blocked.
“We had to close main street from first and main to third and main and that impacts all the businesses in the one and two hundred block of main street, we’ve already talked to the business owners and told them they will have no drive-in service but people will be allowed to walk to the businesses unless there’s a big smoke plume.”
McComie said the street won’t be opened again until the affected building is declared safe.
“We’re thinking probably until 5:00 tonight probably, depends on how quick the building can be made safe and secured then we’ll knock it down to a one-lane for the east bound traffic and then pen up the rest of the lanes.”
At the height of the fire, more than five water cannons were in use at one time.
Bystanders told us it took about 10 to 15 minutes for firetrucks to arrive on scene to battle the flames.