UPDATE: Firefighters bring Saskatoon industrial blaze under control

Click to play video: 'Salvage yard fire under investigation'
Salvage yard fire under investigation
WATCH ABOVE: Five children between the ages of 8 and 14 may have been responsible for a salvage yard fire Tuesday that burned through the night. Leena Latafat says the investigation into a cause continues but charges may be pending – Apr 20, 2016

SASKATOON – A large industrial fire at an auto wrecking yard in Saskatoon took firefighters almost six hours to contain. Crews were called to 14th Street West and Avenue P South around 5:30 p.m. CT.

According to assistant fire chief Dave Bykowy, the fire spread quickly as the vehicles were stacked five-high upon each other.

Popping sounds were heard regularly due to airbag inflators exploding.

“I saw a big flame … a bunch of vehicles and heard explosions. Big clouds of smoke … lots going on there,” said Joseph Lukowich, a nearby resident.

Witnesses reported seeing kids in the area lighting tires on fire.

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Five boys between the ages of eight and 14 were located by police and held for questioning. They have since been released into the care of their parents.

Police continue to investigate and say that charges are pending.

READ MORE: Traffic on Sask. Highway 16 resumes after grass fire crossed lanes

Air quality was initially a concern due to the nature of the fire, however officials with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment said it is no longer a concern from their perspective.

“We were in contact with St. Paul’s Hospital and the health region. We were basically setting up for a contingency for shelter in place,” said Bykowy.

“You’re in crisis phase. Where do you start with something like that? And it’s growing fast … but we start,” he added. He says even with 55 crew members on scene to assist, the fire was overwhelming.

The owners of the yard say damage is estimated at $250,000 and because the yard contains mostly scrap parts, the owner isn’t insured.

Leena Latafat contributed to this story

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