PHELPS CITY, MO – Emergency officials had been battling a blaze at the EnTire Recyling facility for over nine hours by the time the sun rose Monday morning and are preparing for shifting winds in the afternoon.
Rock Port and West Atchison County firefighters first responded to the plant fire, located three miles east of Brownville, in Phelps City, Missouri. at 10:58 p.m. Sunday night. The facility is used to convert automobile tires into crumb rubber products.
Fire Chief Scott Jones said firefighters arrived to heavy smoke and flames. Three separate crews entered the building with charged lines, but some were ordered to withdraw after an hour.
Jones: “With the wind the way it was and the situation the way it was, the fire spread rapidly. We were unable to get it under control. We had Tarkio, Fairfax and Watson all come in on mutual aid. We had plenty of water, but just couldn’t get it under control.”
The fire started in the south building and spread downwind to a production building.
Owner Jim Gerking was driving trucks and semi-trailers loaded with tires away from the scene this morning.
Atchison County Emergency Management issued a statement saying the smoke could be toxic and dangerous for both people and animals.
Officials say they are preparing for a wind shift later today. The smoke will be coming from the northwest. They advise to make plans now to stay safe.