OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – Crews have been battling a large fire at a recycling plant in Northeast Oklahoma City for hours on Wednesday.
“It sounded like a bomb went off,” said Neisha O’Brien, who works across the street. “This is the worst I’ve ever seen.”
As of 10 p.m. Wednesday, firefighters were still at the scene.
Oklahoma City fire crews rushed to Absoloot Recycling near NE 10th and Bryant just before 2 p.m.
“It’s just a large debris pile. There’s vehicles in there, There’s hot water tanks, pretty much anything metal, anything steel. It’s just on fire,” said Oklahoma City Fire Captain Scott Douglas.
Douglas says there were about 100 cars at the plant. According to him, the fire started when an employee, working an excavator, picked one of them up.
“He said he picked up a car and he believed it had fuel in the fuel tank,” said Douglas. “He said just any small spark can get it going.So he just maneuvered the vehicle around, [it] had some gas in it, and a spark hit that gas tank and it just ignited. He said it just exploded.”
Douglas added any “loud boom sounds” you may have heard this afternoon were likely caused by the vehicle’s tires.
“Some of these vehicles have fully inflated tires,” said Douglas. “So, you know, when fire impinges on those. It creates a loud boom.”
Because there isn’t a fire hydrant nearby, fire crews used tankers to shuttle water to the scene.
“The tough thing is we have limited access,” said Douglas. “We’re just shuttling water in a little bit at a time. We don’t have the nicety of hooking up to the hydrant, having a constant water supply.
Del City fire crews also assisted with putting the flames out. No injuries were reported.
Douglas said even once the flames are completely out, fire crews will still be rotating throughout the night to check for hotspots and flare ups.
NE 10th Street is back open to traffic.