NEW YORK A fire at a scrap metal recycling facility in Tampa, Fla., kept crews fighting the flames for more than 16 hours.
The blaze erupted around 4 a.m. Feb. 18 at OneSteel Recycling Inc., according to Ronnie Rivera, public information officer for Hillsborough County (Fla.) Fire Rescue. "The fire was outside in a mountain of junk cars and other metal. It must have been 50 feet tall and 125 feet wide. Crews were there until 11 p.m. We had to use Class-A fire-retardant foam sprayed from cranes and thousands of gallons of water to extinguish the fire."
Nine fire engines from three truck companies along with a Hazmat truck were deployed, and several bulldozers were used to clear debris. Local reports said the fire was confined to the scrap and that no equipment or buildings were involved, and there were no injuries.
"The wind was actually working in our favor," Rivera said. "It took the smoke away from nearby residential areas and blew it out over the water."
OneSteel Recycling sources, collects, transports, processes and markets scrap metal collected from industrial clients, scrap metal dealers and individuals.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. "We sent someone over there this morning," Rivera said Feb. 19. "We had to use a lot of resources to control the fire. We definitely want to find out what caused this."
Representatives of the company, a division of Sydney-based Arrium Ltd., declined to comment.