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Common item causes fire to rage for hours, makes it hard for firefighters to battle OKC blaze

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City fire crews spent more than eight hours fighting a massive four-alarm blaze that started Monday night and lasted through Tuesday morning.

Big flames and thick black smoke could be seen pouring from a vacant building near N.E. 23rd St. and Kelley.

At the time, the cause was unknown and firefighters spent several hours in defensive mode, protecting other properties.

Inside, officials found tires, which explained why it was so tough for crews to tackle the fire.

Deputy Chief Marc Woodard, with the Oklahoma City Fire Department, said, “As many gallons per minute of water we’re putting on it, then it is probably some petroleum products in there. It makes it difficult to extinguish the fire.”

A similar fire happened in Norman where Hibdon Tires Plus once stood.

It was last August when the tire shop went up in flames.

Caleb Janssen, a service manager, said, “Tires are made out of oil pretty much, so you got oil and rubber and once they start burning, that’s pretty hard to deal with.”

A cause was never determined and right now, they’re doing business in a temporary location.

Hibdon Tires Plus offers around 300 sizes of tires; they have to keep them in stock for customers, despite the risk of fires.

New stores are now being built to withstand fires.

Janssen said, “We have fire-rated walls, fire-rated doors that separate the warehouse from the rest of the facility.”

He said, “On a safety standard or safety idea, try to eliminate as much clutter as you can.”

They are extra precautions that could help prevent a fire from destroying another business.

Fire crews are looking into the cause of the fire in northeast Oklahoma City.

Luckily, the building was vacant and no one was hurt.