Firefighters contain Westmoreland County tire blaze near power distribution plant

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Firefighters have contained flames from a Westmoreland County blaze that spread through thousands of tires and threatened nearby homes today, officials said.

No injuries were reported in the fire, which started around 10:30 a.m. along Sewer Plant Lane in East Huntingdon. It was, at one point, roughly 300 yards from a power distribution plant, township assistant fire Chief Glenn Taylor said.

Firefighters were putting out hot spots around noon, using foam to reach into the heap of tires piled in an old auto salvage lot.

They were stacked eight or nine feet high in some places, officials said, presenting a challenge to firefighters already battling the heat and nearby high-voltage power lines.

"That's the biggest problem -- they were burning down underneath," township fire Chief Jeff Keefer said.

The blaze moved across the road and some embers landed on the roof of a shed, he added, but crews were able to stop it from advancing.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is sending Waste Management Program inspectors to the scene to see if runoff flowed into nearby storm sewers or into Jacobs Creek, which is near the salvage yard, a spokesman said.

Several fire companies in the area responded. Pennsylvania State Police will investigate the fire's cause and origin.

mobilehome - breaking - region - neigh_westmoreland

Molly Born: mborn@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1944 and on Twitter: @borntolede.


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