AP photo

Nov 10, 2016 8:08 AM

Massive blaze at empty New York mill forces shelter order

The Associated Press

LACKAWANNA, N.Y. (AP) — Authorities say a hot light bulb that fell onto cardboard has sparked a massive blaze at the former Bethlehem Steel site outside Buffalo, prompting a shelter in place order for nearby residents.

WGRZ-TV is reporting that Fred Heinle, the director of development for the city of Lackawana, says the fire started early Wednesday when a hot bulb fell on some combustibles at the industrial site just south of Buffalo.

Television news footage showed a large building engulfed in flames as massive clouds of black smoke billow away from nearby homes, and video images showed the roof of the building collapsing. The flames have since diminished, but smoke continues to spew from the building, which includes a recycling business.

No injuries have been reported.

Authorities have told people living in Lackawanna and neighboring communities to remain in their homes.

Bethlehem Steel operated its sprawling Lackawanna for decades before ending operations in the 1980s. The property is now home to an industrial park that includes a Republic Steel manufacturing plant.

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