FRAZER TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – Smoke billowed for hours during a large junkyard fire Sunday afternoon in Frazer Township.
Waves of thick black smoke were seen from as far away as downtown Pittsburgh. The source was a tire fire at Hloznik’s Salvage yard deep in a wooded area of Frazer Township.
“At least 100, 200 tires were on fire when we got here,” Frazer Volunteer Fire Chief Brian Gouza said. “It spread it one of the out buildings and got into the building. Everything else was too well-involved.”
The stubborn fire kept firefighters from Frazer and 13 other departments busy for hours. Firefighters say tire fires are always hard to deal with.
“They’re a petroleum-based product, so they’re going to smoke and keep burning and burning,” Gouza said. “They’re very hard to get under control, especially that amount.”
One of the big challenges was getting enough water to the fire. Firefighters had to use 2,000 feet of hose just to get up the hill to the scene.
Eventually the fire was brought under control, but firefighters needed lots of water and foam to put it out.
Gouza says extra manpower really helped because high heat from the fire took a heavy toll on firefighters. Many were covered with foam and had to be washed down.
And there were injuries.
“Actually, we had six total go to the hospital, ranging from back injuries to chest pains,” Gouza said. “From what I understand, everybody’s OK. Couple of the guys are walking around that had back and shoulder injuries.”
So far, no information is available on the amount of damage to the salvage yard, and the county hazmat team was called to stop the foam from seeping into the Allegheny River.
The county fire marshal is investigating the cause.