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Scrap metal blaze continues for a second day in Wilmington [Updated]

June 6, 2010 | 12:24 pm
Firefighters were continuing to battle flames Sunday morning at an auto parts salvage yard in Wilmington that caught fire Saturday and created a tall plume of smoke. The location of the blaze has raised concern among fire officials about whether area residents are being exposed to hazardous chemicals.

About one acre of material was continuing to smolder at the Pick Your Part scrap yard in the 1900 block of North Blinn Avenue, but the blaze was expected to be knocked down by Sunday afternoon, said Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott.

As of Sunday morning, a breeze was blowing the smoke away from area homes, reducing some of the air-quality concerns, fire officials said. No residences have been evacuated so far, and no structures have been damaged.

“We didn’t want nearby residents to breathe it, that’s why we’ve aggressively been fighting the fire for almost 24 hours,” Scott said. He did not have information on whether air quality had been evaluated.

The department requested additional bulldozers to move some of the cars, lawnmowers and other scrap items stacked tall in the yard so firefighters could get to the center of the fire, Scott said. He said the cause of the fire had not yet been determined.

[Updated 12:40 p.m.: A firefighter and a civilian were taken to the hospital for minor injuries on Saturday. The firefighter suffered heat exhaustion, and the civilian complained of stomach pain, officials said. Both were in stable condition. No injuries were reported on Sunday. There were fuel storage tanks in the yard containing oil and gas, but firefighters were able to keep them from catching fire, Scott said.]

The fire was declared a “major emergency” on Saturday.

-- Victoria Kim