Tanger Outlets sinkhole erupts with flames

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LANCASTER, Pa.(WHTM) — The cause of a fire at a construction site Monday afternoon in East Lampeter Township has been ruled undetermined.

That fire sent a thick plume of black smoke billowing high over the Tanger Outlets where a sinkhole formed last August.

Lafayette Fire Department Chief David Keens said the fire began around 4:15 p.m. inside that sinkhole and said 12 to 15 workers were rebuilding a water drainage system inside the hole whenever one worker spotted smoke.

Keens said within seconds, the smoke turned to flames and spread, engulfing the entire sinkhole. The fire burned plastic which caused the thick, black smoke that could be seen for miles around Lancaster.

Firefighters sprayed foam into the worksite and even sprayed water onto storefronts near the flames to keep the buildings from catching fire.

Some store signs completely melted while other storefront glass windows shattered due to the heat.

No injuries were reported.

Crews had begun work in May to replace a stormwater management system that collapsed under the parking lot last year.

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