LOCKPORT, NY (WKBW) - A massive tire fire sent thick, black smoke billowing into the sky hours after it started early Friday afternoon.
It broke out shortly after 2:00 p.m. at the Liberty Tire recycling plant at 490 Ohio Street in the City of Lockport.
Multiple crews responded to the blaze, including an Air Force foam truck from the nearby air base.
The huge cloud of black smoke could be seen for miles as it covered nearby areas with debris and a strong odor of burning rubber.
Health Department officials were deployed to take air samples throughout the city and surrounding areas but did not evacuate any residents.
In an interview with Eyewitness News, Mayor Mike Tucker advised area residents to stay indoors while the heavy black smoke blew over the areas east of the fire scene.
Officials from the Department of Environment Conservation are also on-scene to monitor the runoff from the blaze to ensure oils from the tires does not end up in the city sewer system.
Tucker says the fire could smolder for days.
Friday evening, Liberty Tire released the following public statement.
PUBLIC STATEMENT – January 27, 2012
Lockport Facility Fire
"Liberty Tire Recycling continues to cooperate with firefighters, emergency responders and other officials as they work to extinguish a fire at our Lockport, New York facility this evening.
All employees were safely evacuated from the plant and were not hurt.
The fire has not affected any of the buildings on the property and only involves tires in the outdoor yard.
Some of Liberty Tire Recycling’s employees remain at the site and are assisting firefighters as directed.
In addition, Liberty Tire Recycling is containing and disposing of the runoff from the tire yard."