06-11-2004 -Pepsi Cola Bottling Plant Fire
Firefighters from Brattleboro, Vermont responded to a reported
building fire at the Leader Distribution Pepsi Cola bottling
plant in Brattleboro shortly before 3:30 AM Sunday, June
6, 2004. Responding units saw heavy smoke and fire from
nearly 1/2 mile away, striking a 2nd alarm enroute.
First arriving units found a large storage area on the
back side of the building fully engulfed, with flames shooting
more than thirty feet into the air. Engine 1 and Ladder
1 initiated an attack with Engine 2 laying a supply line
from the hydrant more than 1000' away.
The fire had extended into the roof of the structure. Firefighters
utilized Ladder 1 to gain access to the roof, and used saws
to find pockets of fire which they quickly extinguished.
Intense heat from the fire melted skylights 30 feet away
from the fire, as well as the plastic trim on gas pumps
and streetlights 30-40 feet away on the ground.
The storage area contained nearly 700 wooden and plastic
pallets, as well as soda vending machines. An underground
propane tank with its valve located near the center of the
fire was a major concern. Firefighters used hose lines to
cool the valve until access could be gained to shut it down.
The rear, free standing concrete block wall of the building
was severely damaged, with the blocks disintegrating and
a noticeable bow resulting from the heat of the fire.
The fire was brought under control by the 40 firefighters
on scene shortly after 4:30 AM. Mutual aid companies from
Putney, Vt. and West Chesterfield, N.H. were called to cover
No one was injured in the blaze, which has been classified
as suspicious. The fire is still under investigation by
the Vermont State Police