Warfordsburg Tastee-Freez Burned In Training Exercise
Once a popular hangout for residents needing a cool, frozen treat on a hot summer day, the former Tastee-Freez near the intersection of Great Cove Road and Interstate 70 was the location of a training exercise for members of the Needmore Volunteer Fire Co.
On Saturday, company members under the direction of Chief J.R. Sigel gathered to improve their interior and exterior firefighting skills by extinguishing fires that were set in the building, which contained a basement with five small rooms.
According to reports from company members, “The building was being closely monitored for structural safety during the exercise. Once it became unsafe to be inside, the firefighters trained from the outside. When it was time to ‘just let it burn’ all gathered for a photo with the burning structure in the background.”
The site of the former ice cream shop has reportedly been in the Truax family for at least three generations, with original ownership traced back to Clyde Truax. The property was handed down to Clyde’s son, Howard Truax, and his wife, Fosta, and now to the couple’s children and spouses: Edwin and Alice Layton, Guy and Dorothy Akers, and Carol and the late David Layton.
History also shows that Marlis Wertz constructed a building on the land, which Walter Peck leased from the Layton family in the 1970s to operate the Tastee Freez. After the closing of the Tastee Freez, several others leased the building for the purpose of operating a restaurant.
Most recently, the building was leased to Reed, who operated The Grocery Box, where local residents could purchase bent and dented groceries.
Currently leasing the property from the Laytons, Phantom Fireworks was given permission from the family to remove the building with assistance from the Needmore Volunteer Fire Co.
Attending the training were company members Denis Strait, Candy Kirk, Chelsi Pittman, Sammi Barnhart, Hunter Willey, Justin Dias, Bradley Carbaugh, Randy Stahle, David Stotler, Eddie Barnhart, Jim Schetrompf, Wavy Kirk, Lisa Fleegle, Laura Carbaugh, Zac Sherman, Stacy Barnhart, John Seville, Stephen Van Meter, William Messerly, Cody Gregory, Justin Carbaugh, Bob Fleegle, Scott Barton, Justin Gregory, Travis Welsh, John Washabaugh, Kirby Carbaugh, Terry Hann, George Johnson, and Jason Steiner.