HOOPESTON, Ill. (WLFI) - Several eastern Illinois fire crews are working on a massive, stubborn fire burning at a tire facility in Vermilion County.
According to county dispatchers, all Hoopeston fire crews were sent to a fire at 5:21 a.m. Wednesday at J&R Used Tire Service at 103 E. Maple St. in Hoopeston.
As you can see in photos sent by a viewer, the fire is a strong one. Dark smoke clouds were billowing out of the building all morning Wednesday.
WLFI's CBS affiliate in Illinois, WCIA, reports Hoopeston Fire Chief Cliff Crabtree as saying he believes the fire started from a spark in a loading dock.
Crabtree says the building was enveloped in flames by the time his crews arrived and they immediately went into a defensive mode to fight the fire and keep it from spreading.
Crabtree says he expects this fire to burn for several days. He also said because tires were burned in the fire, air quality checks are going on in Hoopeston to find out if any pollutants are in the air.
Tire fires are noted for being difficult to extinguish and for producing a lot of smoke, which can often carry toxic chemicals from the breakdown of rubber compounds while burning.
A Vermilion County dispatcher WLFI spoke with said normally, county crews don't respond to fires in Hoopeston, but this one is so large that several county emergency crews joined to help battle the flames at the tire facility.
There is no word yet from crews on injuries.
We will continue to follow this story.
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