St. Louis shredded metal fire sends black smoke billowing

The setup made it difficult to get enough water on the fire

Alex Degman
September 22, 2019 - 6:33 pm

Brad Choat / KMOX


ST. LOUIS (KMOX) -- Thick plumes of black smoke rose from Grossman Iron and Steel in North St. Louis Sunday afternoon.
St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson says two piles of shredded metal at least 30 feet tall caught fire -- they issued a second alarm and it took a while to bring under control.

"There was plenty of water, but where it's at, you had to lay a lot of lines to get back there," Jenkerson told KMOX. "Basically down on 2nd street, you've got railroads and everything else. So you've got to come in a certain way."

It's unclear what caused the fire -- but Jenkerson says it's possible conditions were right for oil or other materials to combust. 

"Any time they shred metal like that, you've always got oil or different flammables and combustibles mixed with it. So with the sun shining, all it takes is a little spark, maybe a little spontaneous combustion if the oil gets a little warm, you know, with rags or anything else that's around there," Jenkerson said.

No one was injured. It's so far unclear what started the fire and how much damage was caused.

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