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Large fire on Mitchell Island in Richmond

Last Updated Jan 20, 2017 at 3:54 pm PDT

Large fire on Mitchell Island in Richmond. (Submitted photo)

Thick, heavy smoke fills the air as crews tackle large fire

Initial call came in as a 'car fire,' say Richmond crews

RICHMOND (NEWS 1130) – Smoke could be seen around the entire region coming from a fire in the Mitchell Island area this afternoon.

A pile of cars went up in flames at an auto wrecking yard.

A thick plume of black smoke could be seen coming from Mitchell Island just before noon and it could be seen right down the Fraser River all the way at the Pattullo Bridge.

Amanda called us from the Vancouver side of the river just as the fire reached its strongest point. “There’s like 30, 40 foot high flames. It looks like it’s a junkyard. There’s all the gas tanks, you can hear the explosions of cars. There’s piles and piles of cars and you can see random explosions going on.”

Brian McLeod with the Richmond Fire Department says there isn’t an early indication of cause. “It has spread amongst the pile, so it’s a pretty big fire but it is contained within the yard. The yard has concrete walls surrounding it and we’re no worried about exposure.”

He expects crews to be at the scene for some time. The pile of cars needs to be dismantled so they can be totally sure the fire is out. No one has been hurt. Despite the large amount of thick black smoke produced, McLeod says it didn’t cause an air quality problem.

People from as far as North Road in Burnaby say they could see the smoke, while others closer by say the air is filled with the stench of smoke.