POSTED: Sunday, September 16, 2012 - 2:14pm
UPDATED: Sunday, September 16, 2012 - 5:04pm
EL PASO — Recyclable materials outside a warehouse in East El Paso caught fire Sunday afternoon closing down streets to traffic.
El Paso Fire Department crews were sent out to a fire call at the Border Trading Inc. Warehouse at the 7000 block of Market Avenue just after 1:30 in the afternoon.
"We did upgrade to a second alarm due to the fact that we wanted to prevent the fire from entering the building," said EPFD Deputy Chief J.R. Renteria.
Renteria said large tightly packed bails of recyclable plastics, scrap metal and cardboard caught fire very close to the building posing an increased threat of the fire spreading.
"We did have some crews make entry with some hose lines to protect that exposure," Renteria said.
Firefighters were concerned the fire would grow out of control due to the combustible materials stored inside the warehouse.
Renteria said the warehouse stored furniture that if ignited would have been an increased threat.
Firefighters also dealt with toxins from the burning plastics.
"Anytime you have a fire, you have the polycarbons that produce toxins," Renteria said. "That's why firefighters have breathing apparatus."
Renteria said there was no significant danger to those nearby.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Damages are estimated at $40,000