KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A metal scrap fire in east Kansas City Tuesday burned for seven hours, forcing the fire department to use nearly a million gallons of water.
That fire happened at Midwest Scrap, near Interstate 435 and East Winner Road.
Besides the pure work and water firefighters are forced to use, the fire also presents challenges for our environment.
“The fire was down deep into that material, so we had to actually have them in sense support to move material out of the way,” said Kansas City Fire Department Chief Donna Lake.
Firefighters needed to get to the seat of that fire — the scrap fires exhausting resources — forcing first responders to cycle in and out throughout the marathon battle to contain and extinguish this.
“On a people level, staff level, it is intensity as we continue to cycle those crews out,” Lake said.
Once it’s out the conversation for folks like UMKC Professor Emeritus of Earth and Environmental Sciences Dr. Syed Hasan — turns to the dangers of these fires.
“It is extremely dangerous to say the least, from a health standpoint and long-term exposure standpoint this is a very serious issue, very serious issue we should not let this kind of thing happen,” Hasan said.
A similar fire happened not long ago — that one closing a highway — and forcing evacuations.
Although it was natural resources burning instead of metal, which Hasan says helps. In the end he said it’s all bad.
“If there are people living nearby or the wildlife they’re going to be impacted. Unfortunately living today in America we have not been able to manage our waste in the right way and that’s why we are running into problem,” he said.
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