Two lightning strikes around 1 o’clock on Thursday morning ignited a large pile of scrap metal at the Consolidated Scrap Resources facility on Cameron Street. First responders found they were fighting a lot more than metal. “This is a tangled pile of steal and cars and all kinds of things. There’s bicycles and water heaters, stuff like that” said Harrisburg Fire Chief Brian Enterline.
The chief said the on and off rain throughout the day was helpful, but it wasn’t all they relied on. “We’re putting between eight hundred and a thousand gallons of water on the fire every minute. We don’t want to put any foam on there because then we get into environmental issues” said Enterline. The Department of Environmental Protection was also on scene monitoring the air. “We have some very low levels, less than one part per million, of hydrogen cyanid which is normal for vehicle fires” said Enterline.
The chief said his firefighters have been using air tanks as a precaution. They also used cranes to dump things that are on fire onto the plants shredder to spread it out. “We can only work as fast as the shredders working to take care of the material and shred it up” said Enterline. Garfield Archer watched as the flames and smoke reached their highpoint and said with lightning anything is fair game. “Nobody has control over mother nature. Nobody controls when it’s going to hit, where it’s going to hit or even who or where or when. There’s no control over it” said Archer. Thanks to Harrisburg’s firefighters this fire is now under control.