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Firefighters battle Wanchese blaze

Area firefighters from multiple Dare County fire departments spent several hours Monday extinguishing a fire in Wanchese.

Roanoke Island firefighters were called out at 2:32 p.m. April 19 for a structure fire on Davis Landing Road in Wanchese. On arrival, they found a pile of scrap metal on fire and the call was quickly elevated to a second alarm for additional manpower and equipment from neighboring departments.

“There was no structure involved,” said Roanoke Island Volunteer Fire Department Chief Bill Walker. “It was only a pile of scrap metal. We were able to control it when we put lots of water on it using our ladder truck, hand lines and portable master streams.”

The fire, contained to Dare Area Recycling Technologies, sent a thick plume of smoke into the sky that could be seen for miles around.

According to Walker, after some 30 or 40 minutes there had been little progress in cooling the fire down, making it too hot for close combat. Within minutes, however, a change in ladder truck placement helped knock down the fire enough that an excavator could get in and be used to gain additional control.

Walker said the fire was contained to an area with mostly metal debris and scrap metal materials along with propane tanks, hot water heaters, inflated tires on rims and vehicle parts, which may have accounted for the multiple explosions reported.

In addition to firefighters from several other departments, several bystanders including Joey Daniels Jr. and a crew from Southside Services helped by pulling and laying out five inch hose.

Walker said the exact cause of the fire was not determined, but that Dare County Fire Marshal Steve Kovacs had ruled it an accidental fire.

In addition to Roanoke Island Volunteer Fire Department, firefighters from Manns Harbor, Nags Head, Colington, Kill Devil Hills, Southern Shores and Dare Forestry were called to battle the blaze. Also responding were Dare County EMS, Dare County Sheriff’s Office and the Dare County Fire Marshal.

Walker said the last units cleared from the scene around 6 p.m. There was no report of any injuries and no buildings damaged.

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