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Car-crusher sparks recycling center blaze

EL CAJON, Calif. – A car-crusher sparked a fire that consumed a metal recycling business near El Cajon Wednesday, according to San Miguel Fire & Rescue.

The blaze was reported at All Ways Metal Recycling just after 1:30 p.m. The business is about a mile north of Interstate 8 and adjacent to state Route 67, in the unincorporated Bostonia community.

Helicopter video showed flames leaping up from what appeared to be a tanker truck parked next to a huge pile of scrap metal. A column of thick black smoke rose from the scrap yard.

Multiple fire engine crews poured water on the flames and trying to extinguish the fire. San Diego Hazmat and Public Works divisions were called to assist in the effort -- they brought in sand to control run-off and keep chemical-filled water from reaching storm drains.

Crews gained control of the flames around 3:15 p.m.

Police shut down Magnolia Avenue between Cypress Lane and Greenfield Avenue during the blaze as a safety precaution, and officials had to shoo away onlookers who got too close. All affected traffic lanes in the area were open again as of shortly
after 4 p.m., sheriff's Sgt. Phillip Beaumont said.

No one was hurt in the fire, and no nearby homes or businesses were forced to evacuate.

A fire broke out at the same business in November 2017 when a propane tank exploded.