PHOENIX (AP) — A fire at an oil recycling business near Sky Harbor International Airport critically burned two men and sent a tall plume of black smoke over central Phoenix during the Tuesday morning commute.
Fire Department officials said the fire occurred as used automotive oil was being transferred from a rail tanker to a truck.
One of the men being treated at the Arizona Burn Center at Maricopa Medical Center had burns over 50 to 60 percent of his body, and the other had burns on 15 percent, officials said.
About 20 fire engines and ladder trucks were sent to the blaze, where firefighters used hoses and cannons to shoot water and foam before the smoke plume gradually dissipated. Units from neighboring cities assisted.
The airport, a couple of blocks away from the fire, temporarily closed the runway closest to the flames, but spokeswoman Heather Lissner said flights were diverted to two other runways, and arrivals and departures were not delayed.
The Phoenix area’s light rail system temporarily closed one station and rerouted eastbound trains from tracks near the fire, but normal service was restored after the fire was put out.
Traffic on nearby Interstate 10 through central Phoenix slowed because of the fire.