PITTSBURG (CBS SF) — A firefighter has been injured along with two others in a two-alarm vegetation fire that spread to a junkyard Wednesday evening in Pittsburg, a fire marshal with Contra Costa County Fire Protection District said.
The fire was reported at 5:37 p.m. in the 2700 block of Pittsburg-Antioch Highway, Fire Marshal Robert Marshall said.
It was later determined that the injuries were minor. The firefighter suffered an injury to his hand, according to authorities.
15-20 mile per hour winds were whipping into the delta when the fire began.
“We believe it to be accidental from a homeless encampment candle in a tent that set the tent on fire and then spread to the vegetation,” said Marshall.
The fire sent up columns of choking black smoke as the flames quickly spread from dry grass into Antioch Auto Dismantlers, causing Contra Costa County to issue a health advisory.
“There’s obviously petroleum products in there: rubber tires, oil; hopefully no gasoline, but that’s always a possibility. So the smoke from those kinds of fires is particularly nasty”, said Marshall.
Flames ripped through piles of junked cars and straight toward paving equipment owned by Jason Stanley, which he was storing at the junk yard.
“When a call like that comes, its scary. Because hard things that you worked hard for could be gone. And this is what we use, the equipment to provide for my family,” said Jason Stanley, who uses the equipment for his business, Sunrise Grading and Paving.
In a mad dash, Stanley and his nephew Rodney began pulling equipment out as the fire raged around them.
“Thank God we mostly got everything out. Most of it, said Rodney Stanley. “And the fire trucks were able to come into contain the fire.”
Contra Costa Fire tweeted that the fire had been knocked down shortly before 7:30 p.m.
Pittsburg-Antioch Highway was closed in both directions near Auto Center Drive, according to Marshall.
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