Springfield trucking company explosion, fire: ‘It was a lot of fire.’

Firefighters battled a three-alarm blaze after reports of one or more explosions Friday morning at a Springfield trucking company on West Leffel Lane.

The fire happened at the U.S. Xpress trucking facility at 825 W. Leffel Lane, and smoke could be seen for at least a mile around 6 a.m. The first calls came in at 5:13 a.m., according to Matthew Smith, assistant chief for the Springfield Fire Rescue Division.

He said initial reports said an explosion, or multiple explosions, occurred in the repair facility for the trucking company.

“We have confirmed there was an explosion inside,” Smith said. “We do not know what caused that explosion.”

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No one was inside the section of the building where the fire started, and no injuries were reported, he said.

Credit: Matthew Smith

Credit: Matthew Smith

The fire was contained at 6:45 a.m., but some firefighters stayed on site until about 2 p.m. “mopping up hot spots,” according to a Facebook post from the department.

Smith said the fire department used large streams of water, ladder trucks and handlines to defend the rest of the building, extinguishing the fire in about two hours.

“The flames were through the roof on arrival,” Smith said. “I mean, it was a lot of fire.”

Firefighters called a second alarm soon after initial reports and quickly changed to a third alarm, which resulted in more first responders coming in, Smith said.

Because the fire started so early, Smith said he ordered first shift to come in early to assist in containing the fire.

Up to 2,500 gallons of water a minute flowed to fight the fire, he said.

“This is a very good stop,” Smith said. “This fire could have taken this entire building and burned it to the ground and we stopped it to just one part of the repair facility.”

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Springfield Fire Rescue Division firefighters responded, as did Box 27, which provides support for firefighters at scenes.

According to a Facebook post from the fire department, firefighters searched the driver’s truck lounge for any napping truck drivers and the space was cleared. The fire was concentrated on the repair shop.

Credit: Springfield Fire Rescue Division

Credit: Springfield Fire Rescue Division

Springfield Twp. and Moorefield Twp. provided mutual aid assistance in covering the rest of the city while much of the Springfield department was focused on the scene, according to the post.

Smith noted the human toll of the fire at the U.S. Xpress repair facility, despite no injuries.

“A lot of the mechanics, their tools are in there and they’ve lost their tools,” he said, “so that’s a big part of their livelihood.”

According to the Facebook post, the fire was a major economic loss,” with many trucks damaged or destroyed and severe damage to the building.

The investigation into the fire is ongoing.