A large explosion caused a fire that burnt out of control at Sims metal scrap yard on Comport Street, Portsmith. Picture: BRENDAN RADKE.
A large explosion caused a fire that burnt out of control at Sims metal scrap yard on Comport Street, Portsmith. Picture: BRENDAN RADKE.

Fuel in car suspected of sparking metal yard blast

FUEL left in a car is believed to have sparked a massive fire at a metal yard in Cairns.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services were briefed by a member of Sims Metal Management detailing the suspected cause of the fire.

It is believed a small amount of fuel was left in a car that was crushed.

A spark from pieces of metal being stacked, combined with the small amount of fuel, is believed to have ignited the fire.

 

Fire Crews battle a blaze as two people suffered minor injuries after an unleaded fuel tank exploded at Sims Metal and began a fire in the scrap metal yard. PICTURE: JUSTIN BRIERTY
Fire Crews battle a blaze as two people suffered minor injuries after an unleaded fuel tank exploded at Sims Metal and began a fire in the scrap metal yard. PICTURE: JUSTIN BRIERTY

The soaring temperatures across the Cairns region are also being looked at as a potential ignition source.

QFES Insp Craig Nolan said the reach of the smoke was the biggest concern for the crew.

RELATED: Fire burns out of control at metal yard after blast

"The flames were about two or three metres high on top of the stockpiles," he said.

"But our second priority was to ensure there was atmosphere monitoring.

"We wanted to tell the public what was happening and how to stay safe"

Emergency services attend a fire and explosion at Sims Metal in Portsmith PICTURE: ANNA ROGERS
Emergency services attend a fire and explosion at Sims Metal in Portsmith PICTURE: ANNA ROGERS

NEED HELP?

FIREFIGHTERS have ruled smoke from the fire as being a low risk in relation to toxicity.

But nearby residents - particularly those with respiratory issues - are asked to stay inside, close their doors and windows and cover any gaps in windows or doors to help stop the smoke from coming in. Call 000 with any breathing difficulties.



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