HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — The Huntington fire department arrived to a burning mess Thursday morning on Hal Greer Boulevard. A pair of semi trucks were on fire in the parking lot of Po-Boy’s Tires in Huntington. The trucks were loaded with tires and a large number of tires stored in a fenced yard of the business were also burning.
“We had anywhere from 1,500 to 2,000 tires burning,” said Huntington Fire Chief Jan Rader.
The blaze sent a plume of thick, black smoke hundreds of feet into the air and was visible for miles in the cloudless morning sky.
Crews attacked the fire from above with an aerial apparatus to pour water onto the blaze, which prompted calls to the Department of Environmental Protection and the city’s water department. Officials from those agencies were on hand to make certain the runoff from the effort was being handled appropriately.
“We contained it mainly with water, but to overhaul we used about 40 gallons of foam,” Rader explained on MetroNews Talkline. “When you’re dealing with a tire fire, you’re dealing with hydrocarbons.”
Crews arrived around 7:40 a.m. but didn’t have the fire out until around 10:15 a.m.
“We brought in a bulldozer to help move around the tires to make sure we didn’t have any smoldering pieces in between,” Rader said. “We were finally comfortable we had it out and left the scene by 11 o’clock.”
Fire fighters were able to save the building, but Rader said about 1,500 tires in the business inventory were destroyed and the owners indicated there was no insurance.
Huntington fire investigators believe they found the point of origin of the fire, but have not yet determined how it started.