Baltimore County warehouse burns

June 04, 2007|By Liz F. Kay and Richard Irwin | Liz F. Kay and Richard Irwin,sun reporters

A six-alarm fire raged last night through a Violetville warehouse that housed a family-owned trucking business and offices of a foundation that supports critically ill children.

The roof collapsed on the building in the 1400 block of Rome Road, which housed Wollenweber's Trucking and Warehousing. The family-owned company donates office space to the Casey Cares Foundation, which offers programs for sick children and their families.

Fire companies from Howard County as well as Baltimore City and central and eastern Baltimore County sent about 175 firefighters and about 45 pieces of equipment to the one-story, 250-foot-long cinderblock building.

No employees were in the 130,000-square-foot building at the time, said Chad Wollenweber of the trucking company.

One firefighter was treated for a knee injury and another was treated for heat exposure, said Fire Director James Korn of the Baltimore County Fire Department.

Korn said the cause of the fire was under investigation. The first alarm was reported at 7:47 p.m. and the sixth at 10 p.m. Firefighters had surrounded the building on three sides with equipment and were pouring water on the fire from aerial towers.

Casey Cares offers programs to 3,300 ill children and their families in the Mid-Atlantic region, said the nonprofit's founder, Casey Baynes, who was at the scene with other staffers. The organization lost patient records, its contributor database and donated silent-auction items such as sports memorabilia and spa packages for golf tournaments scheduled today and next month.

Four employees of United Rental Co., adjacent to the warehouse, used a forklift to move several propane tanks, including a 500-gallon tank, outside the building and out of harm's way, said employee Larry Catron.

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