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St. Paul firefighters battle large fire at industrial site

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St. Paul firefighters battled a large fire
St. Paul firefighters battled a large fire that produced 70-foot-high flames at an industrial site near the Mississippi River and Interstate 494 on Saturday morning.
Courtesy St. Paul Fire Department

Updated: 2:30 p.m.

St. Paul firefighters spent hours battling a large fire that produced 70-foot-high flames at an industrial site near the Mississippi River on Saturday.

The fire erupted in a vehicle scrapyard operated by Gerdau Steel, along Red Rock Road near Interstate 494 and the Wakota Bridge.

The St. Paul Fire Department reported that crews were called at about 12:30 a.m.

"When they got there they saw a high volume of smoke and flames and called for additional resources," Deputy Fire Chief Roy Mokosso said.

Smoke rises from a vehicle scrapyard
Smoke rises from a vehicle scrapyard that caught fire on Saturday in St. Paul.
Elizabeth Dunbar | MPR News

Mokosso said crews were on scene for about 12 hours. Ten fire rigs and more than 40 firefighters responded to the scene.

There were no reports of injuries.

The fire remains under investigation, but Mokosso said officials don't believe it was intentionally set. The pile where the fire occurred contained old vehicles that Gerdau processes for their metal parts.

Mokosso said vehicle scrapyards are full of things that can burn for a long time, including tires, foam, plastic and leftover fuel.