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UPDATE: Ziegenfelder's fire controlled in Wheeling

The Wheeling Fire Department is battling a second-alarm fire at the Ziegenfelder Frozen Treat Company plant on 18th Street in Wheeling (Photo: Jaime Baker/WTOV).

The Wheeling Fire Department battled a 3-alarm fire at the Ziegenfelder Frozen Treat Company plant on 18th Street in Wheeling.

It started Thursday morning, just before 10:30 a.m., and took more than 5 hours to contain.

Firefighters had a tough time battling the flames, not only because of the freezing temperatures and a lot of piping, but also the presence a nearby ammonia tank.

"We got a lot of areas for our guys to get out of the weather. The city's been great, people from all around town brought us food and water. We got places to stay warm. We're doing pretty good. The guys are suffering a little bit but it is what it is," Assistant Fire Chief Paul Harto said.

Wheeling Fire Department Public Information officer Philip Stahl said they believe the fire started in the office on the 18th Street side of the structure.

At the height of the blaze, it was considered uncontrolled.

“This is a very dangerous situation,” Stahl said. “There’s some concern, obviously, because there’s some ammonia tanks on the exterior here.”

Officials say everyone made it out the building safely.

It’s the first major incident at the multi-million-dollar frozen treat-making company since 2015, when an ammonia leak sent five workers to the hospital.

Fire crews from Cumberland Trail and Martins Ferry joined in the effort.

There was no mandatory evacuation for nearby homes or businesses. But many, including West Virginia Northern Community College, have closed.

As of 4:30 p.m., all roads had re-opened except 18th Street and Jacob Street between 17th and 18th.

The building is a total loss.

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