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More than 50 fire departments called in to control scrap metal fire that burned for days

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Ray Kisonas
Monroe News, Mich.

Five Monroe County fire departments assisted overnight for hours at a massive scrap metal blaze in Delta, Ohio, which sent plumes of smoke that could be seen for miles around.

Nick Lucas, chief of the Summerfield Township Volunteer Fire Department, said in addition to his agency fire trucks and personnel were sent to the scene from Ida, London-Maybee-Raisinville, Ottawa Lake and Whiteford.

“We were right there,” Lucas said. “All we did was supply water.”

The blaze ignited around 6 p.m. Monday at the MetalX plant on State Route 109. The fire spread quickly and continued burning into the night.

Lucas said crushed scrap cars were stacked 20 high and firefighters had a difficult time reaching the flames.

“They were stacked up high and that was a problem,” Lucas said.

In addition to automobile plastics, interiors and tires, recycled items such as appliances and furniture created plumes of smoke that wafted toward Lenawee and parts of Monroe County.

The Ohio and U.S. Environmental Protection Agencies were monitoring air quality but it was later determined that no chemicals were found in the smoke.

As mutual aid, Monroe County volunteer departments contributed eight fire trucks and about two dozen firefighters to the cause. Lenawee County also sent equipment and personnel from at least five departments.

Lucas said he and the county crew stayed on the scene 12 to 14 hours. Although the blaze was mostly contained, hot spots were expected to be uncovered for days to come.

MetalX is an independent scrap metal recycling business founded in 2012 by Danny and Neal Rifkin. The yard is about 50 miles southwest of Monroe.

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©2019 Monroe News, Mich.

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