Fire engulfs scrapyard in Girard
GIRARD — Fire departments from all around the Mahoning Valley came to the scene of a large scrapyard fire that broke out about 3 p.m. Saturday at Metalico Youngstown Inc. near the U.S. Route 422 / Interstate 80 interchange.
As of 7 p.m., reports stated the fire was out, and everyone got out of the Metalico plant safely.
For most of the late afternoon, traffic was backed up in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 80 and both sides of South State Street as passersby stopped to watch the flames — some as tall as 10 feet or more — shoot out of the junk yard that contained old school buses and vehicles.
Dozens of fire trucks from departments as far as Middlefield, Kinsman and Orwell participated in a tanker relay to get water on the fire because no hydrants were available. A later report stated that departments from five counties participated in the water relay. As of 7:15 p.m., about 20 trucks remained on scene spraying water on the smoldering heap. Another report showed that a hazardous material crew appeared on scene as well the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency for air quality and runoff issues.
By 5:15 p.m., the huge pillars of black smoke that were spewing out of the scrap yard had begun to dissipate.
Large black plumes of smoke could be seen as far east as Campbell and as far west as Eastwood Mall in Niles.
Residents of the Girard area took advantage of the sunny skies and warm temperatures to watch the firefighters battle the flames. People were sitting in the parking lots of Jib Jab, the Shell gas station and St. Rose Church watching the smoke, and people were sitting on the grassy hillside near the Girard interchange watching the scene unfold. Every 15 minutes, it seemed that a fire truck’s siren screamed down South State Street toward the smoke as firefighters rushed in more water.
Attempts to contact Girard fire Chief Jim Petruzzi were unsuccessful.