Cause of Youngstown scrapyard fire determined

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown fire crews were on the scene of an industrial fire at a scrap yard on the North Side of the city for nearly five hours on Thursday.

Flames broke out around 2:15 p.m. at Midwest Steel & Alloy, 200 Division St., near Vallourec Star Steel.

Firefighters were forced to fight the fire with strong winds and a lack of water at the location of the fire, which forced fire engines to truck water in to the fire from nearby locations.

Battalion Chief Terrence Jordon said there are more than 5,000 fire hydrants across the city and if there is an area without access to a hydrant, they will set up the shuttles like they did for Thursday afternoon’s fire.

He said other times they will use water tankers if they don’t have access to a hydrant at the scene of a fire.

But as firefighters brought water to the fire, they still faced issues trying to get the water on the fire because of the strong winds.

“The problem we had with the wind, the fire burns a little more intensely than it may normally burn,” Jordon said.

The battalion chief said the fire started from sparks that ignited fiberglass near a worker.

“An employee was doing some welding or cutting in the area of the fire and sparks just got the fiberglass on fire,” Jordon said.

Most of the damage was contained to the fiberglass material.

Heavy black smoke could be seen for miles from the facility, but it started to dissipate around 3:45 p.m.

Firefighters wrapped up around 7 p.m.after being on the scene for nearly five hours.But, with the windy conditions, crews were dispatched to the scene again around 8:30 p.m. for a possible rekindling.

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