TERRE HAUTE —
Firefighters responded to a fire with heavy smoke Wednesday afternoon at a business located on Terre Haute’s east side.
A Terre Haute Fire Department official said about 30 piled-up scrap cars — stacked up to four high — caught fire at Mike’s Auto Wrecking, 3030 4th Ave. The cause has yet to be determined, said battalion chief Ron Steiner.
The fire, at the east side of the property along North Brown Avenue, also damaged a nearby fence, Steiner said. Flames were visible at times reaching high above the metal fencing wall surrounding the business.
Firefighters reported difficulty getting to some of the cars on fire, particularly those at the bottom of the piles, and had to have cars moved out of the way, authorities said.
Firefighters stationed along Brown Avenue pulled apart a section of the metal fence wall to gain access to the fire.
Terre Haute Police units closed North Brown Avenue between Locust Street and Eighth Avenue due to the heavy smoke that rolled eastward from the fire.
Police Chief John Plasse told the Tribune-Star that water had to be brought to the scene by pumper truck since hydrants were not close enough to provide a water source.
Firefighters also parked emergency equipment at the entrance to the salvage yard.
Twenty-two firefighters from the Terre Haute Fire Department responded to the scene. Otter Creek Fire Department and Shepherdsville Fire Department assisted with tankers, authorities said.
The National Weather Service reported a high in the mid 90s Wednesday in Terre Haute. Steiner said a rehab area was set up for firefighters and authorities made sure responders were fully hydrated.