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A massive blaze on the east side rips through a metal recycling plant

A massive blaze on the El Paso’s east side ripped through a metal recycling plant over the weekend.

It sent plumes of black smoke into the borderland skies that could be seen from miles around.

More than45 firefighters were called to control the flames.

Passer-by Eva Vallez told ABC-7,”At first, we saw little, kinda, of smoke and then it just looked like a bomb; a big poof of black smoke.”

Vallez says she got a little bit too close. “The smoke was unbearable. We had to keep the windows up just from the smell.”

More than 20 fire trucks and nearly 50 firefighters fought the blaze for hours, but the fire they were trying to contain wasn’t just any fire.

Deputy Chief J.R. Renteria said they had to use a special foam to battle the blaze in order to get into all of the dense pockets of material. “It works better than water in situations like this,” he explained.

The business, Border Trading, Inc. was home to bundles of stacked recyclables, including plastics and scrap metals; all fuel for the flames which leaped up to ten feet into the air.

The fire started outside, but firefighters knew they had to prevent the fire from going inside. “Inside of the building we do have a lot of stored high piled combustables; furniture, sofas,” said Renteria.

This isn’t the firsttimea fire has burned at recycling facilities in the area.

Just down the street, several massive blazes have burned at the Newell Recycling Plant.

Nobody was hurt in this weekend’s fire, and the cause still hasn’t been determined.

For the witnesses and passers-by, what they’re left with is a bad smell and a story to tell.

“We started seeing some of the ash and a little water spray (on)us. It was pretty intense,” said Vallez.

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