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BREAKING: 50 Vehicles, 1 Structure Destroyed In Sedgwick Salvage Yard Inferno

Posted 10/26/2017

By Jared JanzenSTARTING as a grassfire just south of Sedgwick Fire Station in the 300 block of Washington Street, the fire Thursday afternoon quickly spread to consume an entire salvage yard to the south. No one was injured. STARTING as a grassfire just south of Sedgwick Fire Station in the 300 block of Washington Street, the fire Thursday afternoon quickly spread to consume an entire salvage yard to the south. No one was injured.

SEDGWICK—Roughly 50 vehicles in a salvage yard in the 300 block of Washington Street in Sedgwick went up in flames Thursday afternoon, as did an adjacent storage structure. Crews from Sedgwick, Halstead, Newton, Hesston and Sedgwick County spent two hours actively fighting the blaze before it was under control.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, Newton Fire/EMS Chief Scott Metzler said Thursday.CREW had to cut down a property fence to fight the flames. Firefighters from Sedgwick, Halstead, Newton, Hesston and Sedgwick County were all onscene.CREW had to cut down a property fence to fight the flames. Firefighters from Sedgwick, Halstead, Newton, Hesston and Sedgwick County were all onscene.DARK smoke billows to the southwest, driven by strong winds.DARK smoke billows to the southwest, driven by strong winds.

A wind-driven grassfire was reported at about 1:30 p.m. in the area between the salvage yard and the Sedgwick Fire Station to the north. By the time crews from Halstead and Newton arrived about 20 minutes later, the fire had spread through the entire salvage yard.

“Prior to the arrival of our crews, the fire did extend into a building,” Metzler said.
”It also extended into a salvage yard with as many as 50 vehicles, and when our crews arrived all 50 vehicles were on fire.”

The salvage yard property was surrounded by a wooden property fence that firefighters had to cut down using chainsaws to fight the blaze.

Multiple explosion noises could be heard as the fire roared, and Metzler said these were probably caused by gas or propane tanks.

Strong winds from the north were a factor in response, according to Metzler.

“That made the fire much more difficult to fight,” he said, adding that it creates a potential for flames to spread to areas they normally wouldn’t.

Metzler said crews would remain on scene throughout the evening and overnight to keep an eye on the smoldering remains.

No one was injured in the fire and no homeowners needed to be evacuated, but commercial structures to the south were evacuated as a precaution, Metzler said.

Metzler noted that it is customary for Harvey County fire departments to aid each other on fires like this.

“We’ve got a very robust relationship with all of the communities in Harvey County and around Harvey County, so it’s very customary for departments from outside the city to respond, and that’s what happened today.”