O’Leary firefighters spent roughly two and half hours containing a blaze at a salvage yard on the Howlan Road Monday night.
There are two buildings on the property. The fire began in the area behind the second building, which can’t be seen from the road.
The fire involved several vehicles.
“The owner of the property used his loader to pull three or four of the cars away, but he couldn’t keep ahead of it,” said O’Leary fire chief Ron Phillips. “When we arrived, the cars he had moved were on fire over in a second location. We were actually fighting two fires.”
Mr Phillips indicated the fire could have been a lot worse.
“The fire was only a few feet away from the building,” he said.
The O’Leary Fire Department received the call approximately 7:30 pm on Sept 14.
“We were fortune,” said Mr Phillips. “We were actually at a meeting and there was five of us at the hall, so we were quick to get the first truck out the door.”
When the firefighters arrived, heavy, black smoke filled the air, bellowing out towards the road, as the vehicles burned. The department decided to leave the fire truck near the road and a run hose to the scene.
“To look from here, you would have thought that (the front) building was on fire as well because the fire was directly behind it,” said Mr Phillips. “You could look through the building and see the fire.”
Mutual aid was called, with Alberton and West Point fire departments assisting at the scene.
“Both crews helped us with putting the fire out and with the clean up,” said Mr Phillips. “I’m very appreciative for the help.”
Mr Phillips said extinguishing the fire was relatively quick, but the clean up took the longest.
“When you’re dealing with a car, you have to make sure it’s completely out,” he said, adding they had to extinguish nine burning vehicles. “Each and every one of those cars had to be moved and put out. The bed the cars were sitting on was sawdust, so we had to wet down the sawdust to make sure there wasn’t any sparks.”
Mr Phillips said the fire had spread a little to a nearby wooded area as well.
“So we had to check the woods,” he said. “Basically, we had to soak everything down to make sure it didn’t reignite.”
Mr Phillips said the cause of the fire is unknown and the fire marshal office won’t be investigating.
However, RCMP were on scene and would be contacting an investigation, although the fire isn’t considered suspicious.