Recycling center burns in large fire sparked by explosion from car being taken apart near Hwy 288

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Thursday, October 6, 2022
HFD deputy chief gives update on recycling plant fire on Holmes Road
HFD has been busy this week, responding to yet another large fire, and sadly, another one that is also at a family-owned business. Officials say it happened after a car was being cut up.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Houston firefighters stayed behind to put out the hot spots of a large fire on the south side of town at a recycling center caused by an explosion from a car that was being cut up.

HFD said in a tweet shortly before 10:30 a.m. Thursday that it received reports of multiple cars on fire there. An ABC13 photographer at the scene reported the building on fire came back to Holmes Road Recycling Company at 2820 Holmes.

Houston Fire Department Deputy Chief Bryan Sky-Eagle said his crews are in a defensive position. This means no crews are inside the building, and instead they are using cranes to move metal pieces apart so that they can put out the hot spots.

The material that caused an explosion from inside the car is still unclear, but Sky-Eagle said there is an ongoing investigation.

The fire department said no injuries have been reported.

Both hazmat and arson are at the scene. According to Sky-Eagle, the air quality conditions were good but hazmat crews were still monitoring levels out of precaution.

A school located about 1.8 miles from the business was notified for safety reasons.

Drivers are urged to avoid the area due to heavy traffic with emergency vehicles.

According to the company's website, Holmes Road Recycling is currently family owned and operated. It's also Houston's largest independent scrap metal company, the website said.

It's been a busy week for HFD.

On Wednesday, a warehouse fire at 4847 Blaffer in northeast Houston sent one of the department's captains to the hospital.

In that fire, hundreds of bales of compressed cardboard and trailers burned.

The day before, another family-owned businesses went up in flames.

In north Houston, Martin's Hardware and Lumber, a lumber and roofing supply company, burned for several hours. Employees said the family-owned business has been in the north Houston neighborhood for about 80 years. In total, there are about 20 employees affected by the fire.

The employees said they were alerted to the fire when they started getting phone calls from people in the neighborhood.