Update: crews put out fire at metal recycling business - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Update: crews put out fire at metal recycling business

CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL)--   A large fire at the Alter Metal Recycling facility has now been put out.

Early Friday morning, plumes of smoke could be seen from miles away on the interstate.

"A lot of people called it in from Interstate 380 and it looked like a very large fire was going on, maybe looked like it was out of control," said Greg Buelow with the Cedar Rapids Fire Department.

Up close, witnesses say, the view was even more impressive.

"I've seen fires before, but nothing this big. A lot of smoke, a lot of heat, you can feel it from 200 yards away," said Mitch Fountain.

Officials are still trying to figure out what caused this large pile of used appliances and crushed cars to catch fire.

"You've got a lot of material, it's compact, all squeezed together so you have all that, that's going to burn awhile and really the most effective way to do it is keep up the copious amounts of water," Buelow said.

Fire fighters battled the blaze for hours, using ground hose lines, and an aerial ladder truck.

But the fire's bark was worse than its bite.

Officials say there was no risk of spreading beyond the scrap metal pile and had the fire put out by early afternoon.

Linn County Public Health was on hand to monitor air quality, but weather conditions cooperated and nobody was evacuated from this primarily industrial area.

Online Reporter:  Jason Epner

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