Massive junkyard fire still producing smoke over Center City, Southwest Philly

This story originally appeared at 6abc.

A massive fire at a junkyard in Southwest Philadelphia is under control but is still producing a large amount of smoke over portions of the city, including South Philadelphia and Center City.

Thick black smoke that was seen Tuesday transitioned to a lighter color Wednesday morning as fire crews continue efforts to cool the material that was burning.

Firefighters were called around 3 p.m. to the junkyard located along the 3100 block of South 61st Street near Lindbergh Boulevard in Southwest Philadelphia.

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Hundreds of tires could be seen from Chopper 6 burning and adding fuel to the fire.

Officials said the junkyard is used to recycle big items, including large pieces of wood and other materials.

Fire officials said they were not concerned about any hazardous materials getting into the air, but said HAZMAT is on scene monitoring the situation.

It took crews roughly two and a half hours to get it under control as the huge plumes of smoke hovered over the city during rush hour.

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“We were at two alarms, which is about 50 apparatuses and about 75 firefighters and medics,” said Captain Derrick Bowmer of the Philadelphia Fire Department.

Officials said it started with small fires in several piles of debris that were at least six stories high.

Crews were forced to keep a safe distance while spraying water and foam due to the intensity of the flames.

Smoke from the two-alarm blaze could be seen all over the city and even across the Delaware River in New Jersey.

“I work down in these yards all day long and I’ve never seen anything in my life like that,” said Keith Knighten of Southwest Philadelphia.

Police continue to block several side streets and intersections along South 61st Street around the fire scene Wednesday.

No injuries have been reported.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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