Fire at scrap metal center reaches 20 feet, fire dept. says

Firefighters extinguish blaze in layers with help of crane

An official said crews had to fight a blaze in a pile of scrap metal in layers, taking about 2 hours to put out the fire outside an east Madison business.

Madison Fire Department spokeswoman Lori Wirth said firefighters responded to a report of a fire at Alter Scrap Metal, 4400 Sycamore Ave., just after 8 a.m. Saturday. Employees reported a pile of metal outside was on fire.

On arrival, the crew reported smoke and flames on a large pile of scrap metal, which included scrap cars and dumpsters, about 20 feet high.

Wirth said the pile was about 200 feet by 300 feet. Firefighters used water and foam to fight the blaze, which had to be extinguished in layers. Employees used a crane to remove the extinguished scraps as the crew put out the flames.

“Whenever you’re dealing with that kind of a fuel load, it’s difficult because the fire can really get down in there,” Wirth said. “You have to go slow. Otherwise the fire kind of hides in the pile.”

The fire was out after 10 a.m.

No injuries were reported and there was no damage to buildings, the fire department said. The blaze was considered a zero dollar loss, since the scrap metal can still be recycled even though it’s burned.