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Explosions, large flames at Phoenix recycling plant near 22nd Ave and McDowell Rd

22nd Ave Structure Fire.jpg
22nd Ave McDowell structure fire
Posted at 6:26 AM, May 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-23 12:27:53-04

PHOENIX — Firefighters are battling a large fire at a Phoenix metal scrap yard.

At about 5:45 a.m. Sunday, dozens of firefighters were called to the area of 22nd Avenue and McDowell Road for reports of a fire.

The fire was quickly upgraded to a 1st Alarm situation and eventually to a 4th Alarm, which prompted a significantly larger response.

Flames could be seen at a metal scrap yard. The building had old signage that read White Water company, a bottled water supplier, but ABC15 has learned the sign remained in place after that company moved locations.

A Phoenix Fire official says the fire is burning at a recycling plant that contains magnesium elements. A HAZMAT situation was prompted when firefighters poured water onto the burning metal.

Explosions occurred at the scene but at this time there are no reported injuries.

An apparent explosion occurred while officials provided an update to ABC15. Watch in the player below.

Explosion at Phoenix commercial fire

"It was towering hundreds of feet up in the air," said David Butler. "I could tell right away it was a big fire."

Butler was walking his dog near his apartment, about a mile away, when he saw the smoke.

He dropped his dog off and came rushing to see what was going on.

“I’ll be honest with you the fire was huge," said Butler.

Officials say the main body of the fire is controlled and crews are continuing to hit hotspots.

A cause for the fire hasn't been determined.