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Massive Blaze Destroys 2 Fire Trucks, Runoff Could Affect Nearby Swamp

CAPITOL HEIGHTS, Md. (WJZ) -- A massive fire at a commercial building in Prince George's County Monday caused a huge plume of smoke visible from here in Baltimore.

Tracey Leong explains how the company and fire departments both suffered major losses.

The raging fire tore through a roofing company building and then kept going, devouring two fire trucks as well.

Flames shooting into the sky, a roofing company on the 8700 block of Ashwood Drive in Capitol Heights becomes a raging inferno in minutes.

Construction equipment including wooden pallets, cars and propane tanks fueled the blaze.

"All of that was involved. We believe there were propane tanks exploding at the point that those engines became involved. We could hear it," Prince George's County Fire Chief Marc Bashoor said.

While more than 100 firefighters battled the flames, the winds shifted quickly, spreading to nearby firetrucks.

"In the 34 years I've been doing it, we've never lost two fire engines on a building fire," Bashoor said.

"I walked down here and I saw the firetruck that was on fire. Those flames were pretty high," Patrick Horn, a passerby, said.

The intense heat melted the trucks--one unrecognizable.

Horn was driving by when the blaze broke out.

"Dozens of firefighters, police officers going back and forth. You could see the stress in their face," he said.

Concerns now focus on a nearby swamp, where dangerous runoff of propane and other chemicals may have crept.

"Hazardous materials crews are making their way down to that swamp area to determine whether any of this runoff is hazardous," Bashoor said.

No one was injured in the blaze. The total loss of the trucks is around $1.5 million.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for anyone who wants to make donations to replace the burnt firetrucks.

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