County firefighters spent three hours Thursday night and Friday morning battling a stubborn blaze in a storm drain between Westminster High and the Carroll County Career and Technology Center.
Firefighters were responding to a report of a fire at Westminster High when they discovered "a tremendous amount of heavy black smoke coming from the storm drain between the high school and the Carroll County Career and Technology Center," Lt. Mike Rehfeld said.
The blaze apparently started when a flammable liquid entered the storm drain and was ignited in an unknown manner, Lieutenant Rehfeld said. The fire burned the bituminous interior coating of the corrugated galvanized iron pipe, causing the noxious and choking smoke, he said.
Fire officials said two booms were placed in a storm drain at Route 97 to prevent any of the liquid from getting into streams or other waters in the area.
The Maryland Department of the Environment and the state Fire Marshal's Office are investigating the fire.
Units from Westminster, Reese, Gamber, New Windsor and Union Bridge were dispatched to the fire. Twelve pieces of equipment and more than 40 firefighters were dispatched to the blaze, and some were there for three hours.