The F.X. Matt Brewery, makers of Saranac Brewing, caught on fire earlier today as “flames erupted” shortly after a music event at the brewery began. The area was evacuated because the fire appeared to be ammonia based, according to the AP story. According to later updates at Syracuse.com, it appears the blaze began in the building where packaging is done and most likely was the result of a problem with the machine that makes six-pack can plastic rings. That building is adjacent to the 100-year old brewhouse and the fire department is working to keep the fire from spreading to the historic building. Fred Matt, co-owner of the brewery, reportedly remarked that he’s uncertain whether or not the brewery will be capable of continuing bottling operations. At least two brewery employees were hospitalized for smoke inhalation.
Photo by William Cannon of the Associated Press, and there are many more photos of the fire at the Utica Observer-Dispatch website.