Massive Junkyard Fire Burns in Queens, FDNY Says

By Tuan Nguyen and Aidan Gardiner  on December 17, 2012 10:09am  | Updated on December 17, 2012 2:10pm

JAMAICA — Nearly 150 firefighters battled a massive junkyard blaze in Queens on Monday, a fire spokesman said.

The inferno engulfed many scrapped cars and small buildings at 95-49 Tuckerton St., near Liberty Avenue in Jamaica, at 9 a.m., according to the spokesman.

Hazardous materials teams were also summoned as a precautionary measure because of the potential for toxic substances, such as oil, in the yard, a fire spokesman said.

Two police officers and a firefighter suffered minor injuries and were taken to North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, NYPD and FDNY officials said.

Crews were still trying to control extinguish the flames four and a half hours later, but they kept reigniting.

Workers at nearby scrapyards said they saw a small pillar of smoke quickly surge to a massive blaze. They added that the yards have gotten a large influx of cars following Hurricane Sandy, perhaps contributing to how quickly the blaze spread.

"They didn't have that many cars before the hurricane. After it, it keeps coming every day. Too many cars lining up outside the street, waiting to be scrapped," said Joe A., 40, who works nearby. "They must have around 200 cars inside the yard, all crushed and piled up like a small mountain."

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, a fire spokesman on the scene said.

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