GREAT FALLS (AP)
An undrained gas tank inside a car being crushed exploded Thursday, sparking a junkyard fire that darkened the sky over Black Eagle for several hours. “It just blew up,” said Nick Bradford, a spokesman for the Black Eagle Volunteer Fire Department. The blaze whipped out of control soon after it started at 10:45 a. m., burning into five feet of debris at the car-crushing operation and nearly igniting a 250- pound propane tank, he said. Inside the debris pile were metal scrappings, plastics, seat cushions, insulation and old refrigerators. No one was injured, but the junkyard’s office suffered severe smoke damage. Firefighters used about 50,000 gallons of water to douse the flames, Bradford said. The blaze drew more than 25 firefighters from five departments and remains under investigation. It was not known if the junkyard and compactor were insured, Bradford said.