PHOENIX, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- A second-alarm fire at an apparent junkyard is sending huge plumes of black smoke into the sky in central Phoenix. 

[PHOTOS: Huge junkyard fire near 27th Avenue and Palm Lane]

The fire started just before 4 p.m. in an industrial area near 27th Avenue and Palm Lane in Phoenix.

[WATCH: Employees try to save items from junkyard fire in Phoenix]

"I was just working in my truck and then I just saw the fire and the smoke coming out and like everything just happened too fast," said Victor Hernandez, who works at the junkyard. "Me and my boss were just starting to move our vehicles and our trucks forward so they didn't catch on fire and then like a minute after that we just saw everybody came and I didn't know what happened and  the fire was all the way to the sky, a lot of smoke everywhere." 

[RAW VIDEO: Huge junk yard fire destroys bus stop in central Phoenix]

Arizona's Family news chopper was overhead as the fire turned into an inferno in a matter of minutes.

"It went from zero to huge in minutes," said our pilot Jerry Ferguson as he surveyed the scene from the helicopter.

[VIDEO: Black smoke comes from big construction yard fire in Phoenix]

As fire crews doused the flames with water, it appeared that some workers on the ground were trying to pull some cars and tanks out of the line of the fire.

The fire sent up a massive, black column of smoke that could be seen for miles.

"Our crews did a good job of moving in, getting access of the fire, get around it, surround it and contain it to the actual involved area. There are some other industrial businesses that are in and around this area so they were able to keep those from getting affected and contain the fire," said Captain Danny Gile with the Phoenix Fire Department. 

The junkyard is full of decommissioned tanks and drums, cars, and an assortment of trucks. 

"That's the thing with these fires, we don't know what's burning inside of them. These scrapyards or debris fields are filled with machinery, plastics, rubbers, all kinds of stuff that puts out a lot of nasty smoke. It's very important for us to understand the scope of that," said Gile. 

[RAW VIDEO: Fire crews make progress on big junk yard fire in central Phoenix]

And the flames burned so hot that a bus stop next to the junkyard actually started melting in the heat.

Police say 27th Avenue was closed in both directions near Palm Lane.

[APP USERS: Click here for during/after photos]

 


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