PEI·Video

Firefighters extinguish 'popping and exploding' car fires at Oyster Bed scrapyard

A large fire involving dozens of broken-down cars at a scrapyard on Route 223 in Oyster Bed that had residents on edge and firefighters on their toes Monday has been extinguished.

'I said, "I hope our house don't catch on fire, in our community"'

Firefighters extinguish the final flames from a fire at a scrapyard in Oyster Bed Monday. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

A large fire involving dozens of broken-down cars at a scrapyard on Route 223 in Oyster Bed that had residents on edge and firefighters on their toes Monday has been extinguished.

New Glasgow fire Chief Jason Peters said it took about four hours to fight the fire from when the call came in from the scrapyard owner at about 12:15 p.m.

"When we arrived here of course, there was tanks and tires, everything else, popping and exploding, windows breaking, and glass," he said.

"So number one priority, we couldn't get too close with any of our members for safety reasons. The first 10-15 minutes was trying to fight the fire from 150 feet away."

Black smoke pours into the sky as dozens of old cars go up in flames. 0:34

Tyler MacQuarrie, who lives in the area, said he heard more than 100 loud bangs from up the road.

"I said, 'I hope our house don't catch on fire, in our community.' I was worried about our community in Oyster Bed. I thought, 'I hope we don't have to evacuate.'"

New Glasgow fire Chief Jason Peters says because of explosions, firefighters couldn't get too close to the fire when they first arrived on scene. (Jason Peters)

Cpl. Shaun Coady of Queens District RCMP said there was initial concern the fire could spread to the forest and homes, and nearby residents were contacted. 

There were no injuries.

Four fire departments responded as well as RCMP. Police used a drone to monitor the fire's movement, and closed roads in the area so the firefighters could do their jobs unobstructed.

"With multiple loads of water coming from North Shore fire department, North River fire department, as well as ourselves, we probably dumped in the tune of 40,000 gallons of water on the site," Peters said.

About 40,000 gallons of water was used to put out the fire, Peters says. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

"If we didn't get it as quick as we did, we would've been fighting a forest fire probably five kilometres deep."

Peters said the owner was doing some cutting with saws and torches. He believes a spark from the cutting started the fire.

"With everything being so dry, it didn't take long for it to start up."

The owner of the scrapyard called in the fire at around 12:15 p.m., police say. (Shane Hennessey/CBC)
RCMP Cpl. Shaun Coady said nearby residents had been notified in case the fire spread. (Shane Hennessey/CBC)

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Tony Davis and Steve Bruce

now