EAST LAURINBURG — Firefighters worked late into Thursday trying to put out a blaze that began early that afternoon at Scotland Salvage and Recycling.
Firefighters were dispatched around 12:45 p.m. to the Dixie Guano Road center after employees called about the fire. No one was injured and the cause is still being investigated.
Clouds of dark black smoke continued to fill the sky around the salvage yard hours after the fire began. Emergency personal were rerouting traffic near the salvage yard.
Bettie Martin, Scotland Salvage’s owner, says that this is the first fire at the business since it opened in 2007.
“It’s unbelievable but it does happen,” Martin said.
The center stored appliances and cars at the site of where the fire occurred, according to Martin. She valued the lost items at around $30,000.
Martin said she thinks she may still be able to sell most of the property affected by the fire.
Fire departments from Stewartsville, North Laurinburg, Laurinburg, North Wagram, and Queheel in Maxton responded to the incident.
As firefighters fought the blaze, small explosions could be heard, mainly from vehicle batteries.
“When the magnesium is hot and you spray it with water it explodes,” said Lieutenant Bradley Strickland with the Laurinburg Fire Department. “Some of the bangs could be the piles falling in from the fire.”
Strickland added that a fire in a junkyard is far more dangerous than a house fire.
“Everything is kind of unstable and we have no idea what in there burning,” Strickland said. “We still use the protective equipment but you don’t know if there’s a propane tank or any other dangerous items that could be in there.”
Douglas Bowen, safety officer for the Laurinburg Fire Department, expressed concern about the safety of the firefighter who was battling the fire.
“In all those car pieces, the magnesium is extremely hot and dangerous,” Bowen said.
Hours after the firefighters got to the scene, they were still battling the fire.
“What’s happening is that the fire is burning into it (the articles that are in the junkyard) and we’re having trouble getting it. So we’re trying to pump as much water as we can into it to get it out.”
The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation, but officials say it appears to be accidental.
Reach Katelin Gandee 910-506-3171