RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Crews are still on the scene at S.B. Cox Salvage Yard in east Richmond. The massive fire sent towering flames up into the early morning sky. It burned for three hours, in part because it was being fueled by hazardous materials. Those same materials have made the clean-up efforts a bit tricky.
In the light of day, the remnants of this warehouse fire at S.B. Cox on Thatcher Road, don't give the full picture of what crews were dealing with overnight.
"Once you have explosions going on, you certainly want to protect yourself and once the tanks start to explode they send projectiles. You want to make sure you don't become a target for that project," said Lt. Shawn Jones, Richmond Fire Department.
S.B. Cox, which is in the business of taking care of tricky and often difficult materials in the wake of demolitions and fires, found those same materials fueling this massive fire. A fire that took several hours to contain and will take much longer to completely clean-up.
"We were able to keep a containment area but of course, as we added more water to suppress the fire, it over ran the containment area," said Jones.
The main problem was run off of oil from burning tires. That problem has now been contained and was never a threat to the water supply, but fire officials say it will still need to be removed from the site. Now the chore becomes determining what caused this fire to start and then escalate so quickly.