CARLISLE TOWNSHIP, Ohio — Crews at a large fire that broke out at Butternut Auto & Recycling in Lorain County have flames mostly contained but smoke is still billowing, according to the Carlisle Township Fire Department.
The fire started just before noon in the 40300 block of Butternut Ridge Road.
The cause of the fire is unknown at this time, but Carlisle Township Assistant Fire Chief Kurt Blair said that the blaze began at a large refuse pile that contained items including scrap cars, refrigerators and other items.
"The pile is actually 20 feet deep and extends all the way back to the end of the property and it's in the center there so they have a front end loader pulling it apart, we have crews in the back operating where they’re puling it apart hitting the fire instead of pulling the fire out," Blair said.
The fire required a fourth alarm and crews from surrounding departments including Grafton Fire Department, Eaton Township Fire Department and Wellington Community Fire District assisted. A crop duster plane also aided fire crews by filling up with water, flying over the flames and releasing the water over the pile.
No firefighters were injured in the fire but one individual, who is believed to be the employee at Butternut Auto & Recycling who called in the fire, did sustain a minor burn on his arm, according to the Carlisle Township Fire Department. He was treated at the scene and then proceeded to help fire crews in their attack of the flames.
In order to attack the fire, crews have been using a combination of water and foam, but the water has been shuttled in down Butternut Ridge Road because there is no direct source of water near the salvage yard. Luckily, the fire stations are close by and are serving as fill sites for the fire trucks as they return to the scene of the fire to unload their haul.
Blair said that while the blaze was large, fire crews are not concerned about the fire spreading.
“There’s no concern about spreading, we really have no exposure. The only exposure would be here to the east and it’s more up towards Butternut Ridge Road which is closed," Blair said. "We have folks checking on this, we’re not concerned about it getting over there because it’s in there."
What officials on scene are monitoring, however, is the environmental impact that the fire might have on the area, and crews from the Environmental Protection Agency have been called in to make sure there is no threat.
“EPA is on scene, they’re putting up some booms to check for any run-off or anything like that because obviously, it’s a junkyard—anti-freeze, gasoline—anything that’s here it’s here," Blair said.
Despite the initial concerns and with houses on both sides of the salvage yard and down both sides of Butternut Ridge Road, residents have not been evacuated at this time.
The Carlise Township Fire Department said that the flames have been contained and they are now just working to get deep in the pile and cool the heat to prevent the pile from re-igniting. Still, they are expecting to work throughout the evening and possibly longer.
“I’m going to expect that we’re probably going to have units here for the bulk of the day if not well into the night," Blair said.
Download the News 5 Cleveland app now for more stories from us, plus alerts on major news, the latest weather forecast, traffic information and much more. Download now on your Apple device here, and your Android device here.
You can also catch News 5 Cleveland on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, YouTube TV, DIRECTV NOW, Hulu Live and more. We're also on Amazon Alexa devices. Learn more about our streaming options here.