HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – The fire marshal is still trying to determine what caused a fire at a north Harris County salvage yard just before noon on Monday.
The Houston Fire Department was called Monday to the Tex Mex Truck Store in the 10600 block of Airline Drive on where they found dozens of burning cars.
Volunteer firefighters initially tried to tackle the blaze alone before HFD was called in to assist.
A huge plume of black smoke could be seen rising into the sky up to 20 miles away.
Air 11 flew over the scene as firefighters attempted to put water on the blaze via a neighboring property. Small explosions could be seen shooting from several of the cars.
It's believed a welder's torch started the blaze, according to officials at the scene.
Officials said Monday that it is not uncommon to be called to these salvage yards where it seems that a fire is just waiting to happen.
"They are always welding, cutting on the cars since this is a salvage yard. A lot of the cars still have fluid and gas in them so this may have been heat ignition," Sean Richardson, deputy chief of Little York Fire Rescue, said.
The firefighters had difficulty at first getting water to fight the blaze.
"We had to call several different departments with large tanker trucks that carry water in and then once we get the water to airline, we had to set up several trucks to pump it back to the apparatus," Richardson.
Two barriers around the property standing more than 10 feet high prevented the fire from spreading to the nearby neighborhood.
Authorities said that no one was hurt.