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Hamilton County fire puts off huge billows of smoke

HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) – Firefighters continue to look into what caused a large tire fire in Hamilton County.

Many people driving on I-465 and U.S. 31 saw the heavy smoke coming from an auto parts business in Cicero.

It happened at G.W. Pierce Auto Parts before 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.

An employee told 24-Hour News 8 workers were cleaning in the back lot, burning trash when it quickly spread to a pile of tires. Firefighters said it was half the size of a football field.

Photos captured the intensity of the smoke from a far distance.

“I saw the beginnings of it. It was a very thick cloudy smoke. It was coming from all the way down there,” said Marquis Bond, who works nearby.

Bond works at a gas station about half a mile away from the scene at 22275 State Road 31.

“For the most part, me and my crew members, we were paying attention to the fire,” said Bond. “For a second, we’re like, hope it doesn’t spread to us you know?”

Firefighters said it didn’t spread any further. They were able to contain the fire.

“Some customers came in and told us it was a tire fire. He came in immediately right after it started,” said Bond. “We kept hearing ambulances, well, maybe ambulances. I’m not sure. We saw a lot of fire trucks.”

The large fire involved tires, trash and miscellaneous car parts.

Firefighters from 12 fire departments responded to the call.

On that list included, Jackson Township, Noblesville, Westfield, Sheridan, Cicero, White River, Wayne Township, Fishers, Carmel, Kirkland, Zionsville, and Tipton.

The area didn’t have any hydrants for firefighters to work with. Firefighters used 10 water tankers and around 100,000 gallons of water to get everything under control.

Fishers Fire Captain John Mehling said it wasn’t easy.

“With the amount of tires that are involved, it’s very difficult to put out with the petroleum based products obviously,” said Mehling. “It just takes a while for it to cool down and put the fire out.”

Mehling said the Indiana Department of Environmental Management will return to the scene to do some testing in the next couple of days to make sure there’s no contamination.

No official word on what caused the fire. Firefighters said no reported injuries.