Health officials say smoke over Philly from tire fire not hazardous, but urge caution

Plumes of smoke are seen stretching from Southwest Philly to South Jersey

A tire fire in Southwest Philadelphia sent plumes of smoke across the city. (Mark Henninger/Imagic Digital)

No toxic chemicals at levels hazardous to human health have been found at a junkyard fire in Philadelphia that spread huge amounts of smoke over parts of the city, authorities said Wednesday, but they warned people to limit their time outside.

However, there is still particulate matter in the air from the smoke, and people near the remaining smoke or haze were advised to limit their time outside, especially if they had heart or lung problems, the Philadelphia Public Health Department said.

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Nearly 100 firefighters responded to the blaze around 3 p.m. Tuesday in Southwest Philadelphia, including marine units that pumped water from the Schuylkill River to douse the flames.

The fire was declared under control about 2 1/2 hours later, but crews continued to battle hot spots through Wednesday morning. The cause is being investigated.

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