Coatesville, VA – A fire damaged a building in the 300 block of West Lincoln Highway on Wednesday afternoon, according to authorities.

Crews were alerted at 12:34 p.m. Wednesday for flames and smoke coming from the roof of a building. Coatesville Fire Chief Garry Alderman said first arriving units found fire showing in the third floor. They searched the building and found that everyone had safely evacuated. Alderman said he requested a second alarm after seeing the extent of smoke from the structure.

Alderman said fire appeared to originate in a third-floor bathroom and spread into a crawl space and into the roof.

Firefighters used hand lines up a rear fire escape and a ladder truck to reach the fire. Equipment on the roof caught on fire. Alderman said the hose from a propane tank reportedly exploded but the tank itself did not.

David Podmokly of Wagontown said he was traveling through the area when he saw the flames and ran up to alert residents. He said there was an explosion, which sounded “like a howitzer going off.”

The fire was under control in 30 minutes with extensive overhaul required. The cause of the blaze is under investigation by the Chester County Fire Marshal’s Office.

Coatesville fire units were assisted by the Coatesville VA Fire Department. Modena, Westwood, Keystone Valley, Thorndale, Minquas, Wagontown and Lionville fire companies also assisted at the scene.