POSTED: Saturday, September 25, 2010 - 4:25pm
UPDATED: Monday, September 27, 2010 - 12:34pm
MONTANA VISTA - On a hot day, fire crews spent the afternoon battling an even hotter fire. El Paso Sheriff's Deputies say flames sparked at Aveo Surplus Metals around one this afternoon.
We're told one firefighter was sent to the hospital, and at least two others were treated on scene for what may have been heat exhaustion.
It wasn't an ordinary fire. We're told people who live in the area had to be evacuated because of what may have been toxic smoke filling the air. Among everything that was burning at the recycling yard was plastic, and we're told that can be dangerous to breathe. Not only that, but the plastic creates another problem for firefighters.
"Once the plastic melts it creates a protective shell over anything that's burning, so it's impenetrable by the water. Our crews have to go in with hand tools to start breaking this stuff apart and get the water in there to completely extinguish the fire," Captain James Younger of the Montana Vista Volunteer Fire Department said.
Fire fighters from Horizon and Clint had to help out because the fire was so intense, and it still took more than an hour just to get it under control.
Tonight the job's not over for firefighters. They need to figure out how it started.
At last check firefighters were still putting out hot spots, and people who live in the area were allowed to return home.