Massive Fire Hits New Bedford Tire Facility
UPDATE 4:26 p.m. — This article has been updated to include information given by Fire Chief Scott Kruger at the scene.
NEW BEDFORD — A large fire at a North End tire recycling facility in New Bedford has blocked traffic on Brook Street from Sawyer to Deane streets since around noon on Thursday.
New Bedford Fire Chief Scott Kruger said that no injuries have been reported in the incident, which saw piles of tires and a building at Bob's Tire on Brook Street go up in flames.
The blaze blanketed the area in heavy black smoke starting at around 11:49 a.m.
Kruger said the department received a large number of 911 calls reporting the fire, and crews arrived to find massive flames coming from a building that quickly spread to a couple of tire piles nearby.
The size of the fire resulted in the department calling a general fire alarm, meaning all department resources arrived to assist — including off duty call firefighters, Kruger said.
Fire crews at first tried to attack the flames from the interior, but the situation rapidly became “untenable,” so they moved to an exterior attack, the chief said.
“We’re gonna be here for probably the rest of the day,” he noted.
Acushnet, Freetown, Dartmouth, and Fairhaven fire departments were also called to provide help and station coverage.
According to Kruger, fire investigators believe the fire started accidentally in the tire shredding machine on the second floor.
A Facebook post from the New Bedford Police Department warned residents to stay away from the area.
Firefighters remained on the scene dousing the area with water and putting out hotspots as the chief spoke at around 3 p.m.
Workers at nearby buildings were evacuated and residents stood to watch fire crews working well into the afternoon.
This is a developing story and will be updated as details become available.