Firefighters battle scrap yard fire in Phoenix; FD offers advice on preventing these incidents

Firefighters battled a second-alarm fire at a scrapyard in Phoenix that sent thick, black smoke into the air on May 23 near 27th Avenue and Broadway Road.

"Multiple cars that are stacked at this yard behind me with heavy flames and smoke," explained Phoenix Fire Capt. Scott Douglas while at the scene of the fire.

He says they don't know the exact cause of this fire yet, but lately, he says they've been responding to calls in this area of the city often.

"We've had a great alarm response almost every day for the last week it seems like. We're definitely experiencing one of those trends. Maybe because of the increase in temperatures, winds," he said.

Fire prevention staff gets called in to evaluate fires like this.

"They're on site. They're evaluating the recent fires in this area as well as different areas around the city," Douglas said.

What turned into a 2nd alarm response can sometimes become dangerous for the firefighters responding.

"In a scrapyard like this, it's hard to say what could be exploding. Old airbags in vehicles, old fuel tanks. There's a lot of things that could be explosive. Obviously, we saw some explosions yesterday, myself included," Douglas said.

He's encouraging scrapyards and industrial parts of the Phoenix area to be mindful of how they're disposing of trash and how accessible the locations are to first responders.

"Making sure they're operating in safe distances, that they are following the hazardous material guidelines that they're supposed to be following. Making sure that their access issues and water supply issues are all available for us to be able to get in if something does happen, to be able to put that fire out," Douglas explained.

The cause of this fire hasn't been identified yet.

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Photo courtesy of the Phoenix Fire Department