Torch spark flares up overnight at 21st Century Recycling

Gale Rose
City of Pratt firefighters tackle difficulties while fighting an early-morning fire Friday at 21st Century Recycling on Pedigo Drive in Pratt.

Flattened cars and an old storage tank suffered fire damage early Friday morning, May 29, at 21st Century Recycling on Pedigo Drive on the north side of Pratt.

Roy Holmquist, of 21st Century Recycling, was using a cutting torch to cut up a storage tank for salvage material on Thursday, May 28. Sometime early Friday morning, the fire flared up in the tank and spread to a stack of crushed cars and set them on fire.

Firefighters responded to a call and arrived at the scene at 2:35 a.m. Friday, where they met up with a couple of challenges. The fire was some distance from the nearest fire hydrant and there were items blocking direct access to the crushed cars.

Firefighters had to lay from 300 feet to 400 feet, at least a city block, of water line from a fire hydrant to a fire truck, said Pratt Fire Chief David Kramer.

Some material had to be moved to gain access to the stack of burning cars.

"It was a process to get the stuff and get it out of the way," Kramer said.

Firefighters had to use a lot of foam product to extinguish the fire. They were on site for four hours and returned to the fire station at 6:45 a.m. No one was injured in this incident.