Debris fire produces column of smoke seen for miles

Posted: Updated:
(Source: Phoenix Fire Department) (Source: Phoenix Fire Department)
(Source: Phoenix Fire Department) (Source: Phoenix Fire Department)
(Source: Allyson Blair, cbs5az.com) (Source: Allyson Blair, cbs5az.com)
(Source: Phoenix Fire Department) (Source: Phoenix Fire Department)

A debris fire in Phoenix produced a column of thick, black smoke seen for miles Sunday afternoon.

A Phoenix fire spokesman said an estimated 200 firefighters battled the blaze at Arizona Pacific Pulp and Paper at 36th Street and University Drive.

The fire started in a bunch of paper and cardboard recycling bales.

Flames got dangerously close to neighboring buildings, so fire officials made the decision to pull a third alarm.

Fire crews from across the Valley lined the side streets to provide relief for some of the first firefighters on scene.

Officials said they initially had a hard time getting inside the yard where the fire was burning.

"These commercial structures are secured with chain linked barbed wire," Phoenix Fire Capt. Mark Vanacore said. "They're not in operation so we did have to make entry and it did create some challenges for us initially to get back to the seat of the fire and get our trucks back there."

There were no injuries.

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