Clark County

24 hours and 350,000 gallons of water later, Clark recycling fire persists

Stubborn recycling center fire continues into a second day

Firefighters from multiple counties are helping Winchester tackle the blaze at Stuff Recycling. Crews could remain on scene for several days, fire officials say.
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Firefighters from multiple counties are helping Winchester tackle the blaze at Stuff Recycling. Crews could remain on scene for several days, fire officials say.

A massive fire that started Saturday in Clark County continued to burn into Sunday, causing concerns about air quality and visibility, according to news reports.

A large pile of scrap metal and auto parts at Stuff Recycling off Lexington Road started burning at about 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon and the fire continued into Sunday, according to WKYT, the Herald-Leader's reporting partner. Crews reportedly had used about 350,000 gallons of water on the blaze.

As of Sunday afternoon, the blaze had been reduced to smoldering metal and steam, according to WKYT, the Herald-Leader's reporting partner. Firefighters expected to stay at the scene into Monday to watch for additional hotspots.

Lexington police had shut down outbound Winchester Road at Haley Road by 6 p.m. Saturday, and the road remained closed late Sunday afternoon.

When the blaze was at its worst, there were fire crews from a dozen surrounding counties helping Clark County firefighters put out the flames. Water had to be shuttled in to help fight the fire.

As of Sunday afternoon, firefighters were breaking apart the pile of scrap that had burned in hopes of cooling it down and finding hotspots, Clark County Battalion Chief William Jordan said.

The Lexington Fire Department sent five engines, one ladder truck and other units to the scene.

Lexington Battalion Chief Brad Whittaker said late Saturday that the department had about 24 people on site.

"I don't think it's anywhere close" to being out, he said.

WKYT-TV reported that Bourbon County also had tanker trucks at the fire, and all firefighters in Clark County had responded.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet warned motorists on Interstate 64 to be aware of the possibility of decreased visibility because of blowing smoke near exit 87, the station reported.

Residents of the area said on social media that they had received text alerts telling them to close their windows and turn off their air conditioning units because of poor air quality. The "shelter in place" was lifted Sunday afternoon, according to LEX 18.

Stuff is a metal and electronic scrapping facility, according to the company's website.

Herald-Leader reporter Morgan Eads contributed to this report.

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