“We are currently testing air samples for toxic pollution, and will update when that’s finished,” the Philadelphia Department of Public Health tweeted Wednesday.
“In the meantime, people with heart or lung problems should avoid exerting themselves in areas with smoke, haze, or smell from the fire.”
Regarding the fire: We are currently testing air samples for toxic pollution, and will update when that’s finished. In the meantime, people with heart or lung problems should avoid exerting themselves in areas with smoke, haze, or smell from the fire.
— Philadelphia Public Health (@PHLPublicHealth) November 10, 2021
Fire officials have said they were not concerned about any hazardous materials getting into the air, but hazmat crews remained on the scene to monitor the situation.
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.
Officials said the junkyard is used to recycle big items, including large pieces of wood and other materials.
Firefighters were called around 3 p.m. Tuesday to the 3100 block of 61st Street near Lindbergh Boulevard in Southwest Philadelphia.
Hundreds of tires could be seen from Chopper 6 burning and adding fuel to the fire.
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.
“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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