Firefighters head off big fire at PSC Metals

Once on the scene, Chief Morgan said firefighters found a large pile of scrap metal and other materials on fire, inside a metal building. Photos by Captain David Thompson Jr.

Chattanooga firefighters responded to a fire shortly after 1:00 this morning at PSC Metals, located at 980 W. 19th Street.

Battalion Chief Lesley Morgan said Chattanooga police officers on patrol were the first to notice heavy smoke in the area and called 911.

Once on the scene, Chief Morgan said firefighters found a large pile of scrap metal and other materials on fire, inside a metal building.

Captain Damien Vinson with Quint 1 said the firefighters at first tried to put the fire out with deck guns on the fire trucks and hand-held hoselines, but that proved ineffective because the water was not penetrating into the pile enough to extinguish the flames.

A manager with PSC Metals was asked if a front end loader was available to push the pile out of the building and spread it out. Captain Vinson said firefighters with Quint 2 used the front end loader themselves to move the burning pile until an employee with the company took over the operation. As portions of the pile were moved, firefighters wet down the materials and extinguished the fire. It took roughly 24 firefighters from six fire companies more than an hour to get the blaze under control.

A manager with PSC Metals told the firefighters that the building and contents were valued at $6 million. The firefighters were able to limit the fire damage to just $2,500.

No one was hurt, and investigators are still looking into the fire's cause.

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