A two-alarm fire erupted in a 30-foot high pile of old appliances at a Redwood City metal recycling facility early Tuesday, draping a huge plume of smoke over the area.
Ambers from the massive fire may also have ignited two small fires nearby, fire officials said.
Firefighters told KTVU they received numerous reports of an explosion and fire just before 1 a.m. at the Sims Metal Management plant located at 699 Seaport Blvd. in the city’s industrial sector.
Arriving crews found smoke pouring out of a pile of scrap metal appliances – old washers, dryers and refrigerators and car parts — about 100 feet in length and 30 feet high.
Eastbound Seaport Boulevard has been closed at Blomquist Street, according to San Mateo County fire officials.
According to the San Mateo County fire officials, employees and citizens who do not need immediate access to the area are advised to steer clear.
Anyone who smells smoke was advised to stay inside with their doors and windows closed to avoid exposure. Fire officials recommend staying indoors until the health department advises citizens to do otherwise.
At about 6 a.m., fire officials reported that the smoke from the fire was moving in a southerly direction.
Fire officials were not able to provide an estimate of when the fire will be extinguished, but fire personnel were expected to remain on the scene for several more hours, fire officials said.
Firefighters fought a similar blaze last month at this same plant, a dispatcher said.
The previous fire occurred on Nov. 10 and ignited a heap of crushed cars and other large material, causing several agencies to issue shelter-in-place alerts to residents. Nobody was injured in the fire, according to fire officials.
The blaze in November took firefighters roughly seven hours to control, according to fire officials.
Firefighters also battled a blaze at the same recycling center in April 2007 and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District was forced to levy a public nuisance violation due to the large quantities of contaminates that annoy or cause a nuisance to the public, according to BAAQMD spokesman Ralph Borrmann.
The cause of this morning’s fire remains under investigation, according to fire officials.