Smoke Darkens Sky During Missouri Tire Fire

A small fire quickly blossomed into a billowing plume visible for miles late Wednesday afternoon. The blaze destroyed the building housing the ABC Tire business north of Interstate 70 in Kansas City.

Temperatures in the 90s bedeviled the firefighters battling Wednesdays blaze. This firefighter got a cooling dousing at the scene of the fire.

A four-alarm fire at a tire warehouse sent smoke billowing across the Missouri River bottoms in Kansas City on Wednesday.

About 10 persons were in the building at ABC Tire, 1410 Intercity Trafficway, when the fire broke out shortly after 4 p.m. No one was injured, but a firefighter was treated for heat exhaustion.

The blaze destroyed the concrete-block building that housed the business and also burned three or four tractor-trailers. Three nearby buildings were evacuated.

Terry Villarreal, who works at a neighboring business, spotted the blaze and dialed 911. Once the trailer ignited, that was it, Villarreal said.

It took firefighters about 30 minutes to halt the fires spread, and they were able to keep it from reaching a nearby paint shop. A few crews planned to remain on the scene overnight, said Germane Friends, a Fire Department spokesman.

Theres nothing left, Friends said. Weve got a big trash fire.

The blaze was next to the Lewis and Clark Viaduct, but the wind blew from the southwest, keeping the roadway clear of smoke.

Temperatures that reached the mid-90s made firefighters work more difficult. The 80 to 100 firefighters who responded to the blaze worked in shifts of 15 to 20 minutes before taking breaks.

Friends said there was no immediate health threat from the burning tires, but the Environmental Protection Agency has been notified. The cause of the fire was not immediately known, nor was the cost of the damage.

Distributed by the Associated Press