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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Lower Base junkyard on fire for 2 days

Burned tires and garbage continue to belch smoke as of 6pm yesterday from an abandoned junkyard in Lower Base. The fire of unknown cause began Friday afternoon and occurred again Saturday morning. (Ferdie de la Torre) A fire of still unknown cause at an abandoned junkyard for vehicles and tires in Lower Base burned for two days since Friday afternoon.

As of 6pm yesterday, thick smoke could still be seen coming from two portions of the junkyard.

Department of Public Safety Fire Division spokesperson Jocelyn Alvarez said that firefighters cleared the area yesterday at 5:19pm, but put the place under fire watch as there was still smoke.

Alvarez said a DPS fire engine was brought to the scene yesterday and firefighters continued watering the area to prevent the blaze from re-igniting.

Alvarez said the smoke from the burned rubber tires may be toxic and he urged affected residents in the area who may not be feeling well to seek treatment at the Commonwealth Health Center.

Alvarez said fire investigators have yet to determine the cause of the blaze.

He said the first DPS Fire Unit arrived at the scene on Friday at 4:58pm, shortly after a concerned citizen called DPS to report the blaze at the junkyard, located north of the CTSI Building.

When firefighters arrived at the scene, the area was already partially engulfed with fire.

The fire went on and off Friday and was controlled at 9pm. On Saturday at 7:30am the fire occurred again.

Firefighters from the Commonwealth Ports Authority also responded with one fire engine to assist DPS firefighters on Saturday.

Alvarez said a barrier at the compound and overgrown grasses and trees hampered firefighters’ efforts to extinguish the blaze.

On Saturday, the Emergency Management Office was able to provide a bulldozer in order for the firefighters and fire engines to gain access to the junkyard.

The junkyard has been abandoned for several years. It is not clear whether the government or a private company used to own the junkyard.

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