A large fire at a tire recycling plant in Bristow is under control Monday evening.
Bristow Fire Chief Charles Conkling said they are investigating to determine if the fire at Oklahoma Tire Recyclers was an accident or arson.
“It’s kind of devastating to me. I just didn’t think it would ever happen, but it did,” said Samuel Goodwin, who could see the smoke from his home in Depew, about 12 miles away.
Piles of tires on fire and plumes of thick, black smoke filled the sky.
“The smoke went on past us,” Goodwin said.
Conkling said they got the call just after 3 a.m. Monday. He said crews got the fire under control, but there wasn’t enough water. Plus, they were concerned about runoff, so they had to let it burn.
He said they were also short on firefighters because this location was tough to get too.
“We had to walk down to it. There was no way to get trucks or lines down to it because we had to crawl over tire piles just to get to it,” Conkling said.
Conkling said they've put out multiple fires at the plant
The most recent happened in May at the building with more piles of tires.
Related Story (May 2021): Crews Respond To Large Fire In Bristow
“It really boils down to when you’re allowed to create a massive fire hazard unregulated and unenforced, this happens. so that’s why we’re out here a lot,” Conkling said.
The Bristow City Attorney said the city took legal action against the owners in February. The lawsuit would shut down operations and evict the company from the property.
Conkling said old tires and trash burned in Monday’s fire. He said the property has taken a lot of environmental damage from past fires and will need cleaning.
“People have to get started back again and people that got families working and everything, it’s kind of devastating in a way,” Goodwin said.
News On 6 reached out to the owners, but they had no comment.
The fire chief said they expect the fire to burn for the rest of the Monday evening and possibly into Tuesday.