NORTH FAYETTE (KDKA) — A stubborn fire at a wood recycling plant burned for hours, sending smoke into part of North Fayette on Wednesday.

Two-thousand to 3,000 wooden pallets burned at Wood Waste Recycling on Kelso Road. They use the pallets to make mulch.

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Six fire companies poured water on the fire for hours, but that tactic was abandoned because they were having problems reaching the flames buried deep into the pile.

An excavator was then brought in to dig into the pile and get to the flames.

North Fayette Assistant Fire Chief Jason Boyce said the smoke was creating a smell and haze that could be seen for about a half mile.

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“The smell is really strong,” said Boyce. “As far as any [of it] getting into the homes or smelling it in the homes – we don’t have that problem yet, but we’re trying to keep the smoke down because some of the residents do smell it.”

People who live in Fayette Farms reported smelling the smoke outside.

The company believes the fire was started by spontaneous combustion.

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David Highfield