UPDATE, 5:42 p.m.: Officials have ruled the fire at the Ziegenfelder plant has been put out, with the exception of a few hotspots. A crew will remain overnight at the scene to keep a “fire watch.”
The Ziegenfelder Frozen Treat company employs 300 people at three different plants. It is headquartered in Wheeling, but also has plants in Denver, Colorado and Chino, California.
ORIGINAL: The Ziegenfelder Frozen Treat Company plant on 18th Street in Wheeling has been evacuated after a fire broke out inside, officials have confirmed.
7News was at the plant working on a seperate story when the fire broke out. Witnesses say that smoke is pouring out of the back side of the building.
Officials say that this is a “very dangerous situation” as the combination of ammonia, wind and brutally cold temperatures have allowed the fire to spread.
A full department response is on scene. Everyone that was in the plant was able to get out safe, according to Ziegenfelder C.E.O. Lisa Allen.
UPDATE, 11:35 a.m.: The Wheeling Fire Department has just requested additional ladder trucks from Belmont County to help fight the fire.
This is a developing story, please stay with 7News for updates.
UPDATE, 12:43 p.m.: Officials have ruled this a 3-alarm fire.
UPDATE, 12:48 p.m.: Wheeling Clinic has announced they are closing as a result of the fire.
UPDATE, 1:06 p.m.: Route 2 in Wheeling has been closed.
UPDATE, 1:28 p.m.: The Salvation Army is allowing people in their building now. They will then begin to bus people to their church at 3 p.m. in South Wheeling. If they come in the building on 16th Street, The Salvation Army is deperate for blankets. They will keep people at the church depending on the status of the fire. The Catholic Charities Neighborhood Center is closed and evacuated.
UPDATE, 1:42 p.m.: US 250 South to 16th Street and US 250 exit North to 18th Street are closed for fire safety reasons, according to Wheeling Police.
UPDATE 2:45 p.m.: At this time, significant damage has been done to the building. Police say that the offices in the building are a total loss, although the production area will be okay. The fire should be completely out in a few hours. Police are still keeping the ramps and roads closed.