Halifax firefighters extinguish blaze involving mountain of crushed cars

Crews battle a fire at Dartmouth Metals Ltd. in Burnside Friday afternoon. Reynold Gregor/Global News

A large fire that broke out at a scrapyard in the Burnside area of Dartmouth, N.S., late Friday morning has been extinguished.

The fire at the Dartmouth Metals Ltd. recycling centre sent thick plumes of black smoke into the air, prompting an air quality statement to be issued early in the afternoon.

The fire at one point encompassed a good portion of the junkyard — but Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency district chief Pat Kline confirmed Friday evening that it had been put out around 6:30 p.m.

“I think it was a great job by the crews that responded. That was a very involved rubble pile,” said Kline in a phone interview.

“The crews did a great job knocking it down and keeping it from extending to the main building that was there, because it was getting very close to the building.”

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At one point, the fire encompassed a substantial portion of the scrapyard. Reynold Gregor/Global News

Roy Hollett, the deputy fire chief with Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency, told Global News around noon that the fire was burning through a large pile of crushed cars — from which the oil, grease, and plastics were responsible for the thick, heavy black smoke.

“The original fire looked to be about 300 to 400 feet (in perimeter,) it encompassed a good portion of the junkyard,” Hollett said.

But around 3 p.m., Hollett said the fire, which was at one point “quite substantial,” was contained. By 5:30 p.m., it was considered under control.

Crews then worked to take the pile apart and attack the inside with water.

Crews were able to prevent the fire from spreading to the Dartmouth Metals Ltd. building. Reynold Gregor/Global News

There are no injuries reported and there is no word of potential causes.

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Their biggest concern now is the water runoff, which could contain potentially contaminated materials. Halifax Water said in a statement that the contaminated water could enter local water areas, including storm water systems.

“Recreational activity in the area should be avoided until further notice as HRFE works to contain the runoff,” it said.

The municipality said in a tweet that monitoring for contaminated runoff will continue over the weekend.

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