A large pile of junked cars at Summit Recycling in the Battlefield Industrial Park in Fredericksburg caught fire Thursday morning and caused traffic congestion throughout the city.
Firefighters from the city and Stafford County responded to the scene at 1123 Summit St. and extinguished the blaze.
The Virginia Department of Transportation reported that all travel lanes on the Blue and Gray Parkway were closed between Lafayette Boulevard and Belman Road from about 10:45 a.m. until 12:45 p.m. With the Chatham Bridge connecting downtown to State Route 3 closed for renovation, one potential detour was unavailable and the congestion spilled over onto some other roads.
Fredericksburg Fire Chief Mike Jones said there were no civilian or firefighter injuries and no one had to be rescued. He said the cause of the fire was undetermined and will likely remain that way because cars have been moved around and it would be too difficult to pinpoint where the blaze originated.
Jones did, however, rule out arson or any suspicious activity, saying it was “an accidental start.”
Jones said the pile of cars was packed in very tightly, with six or seven stacked high on top of one another.
“It was probably as wide as two single-family homes and as high as one single-family home,” Jones said. “So it was a fairly large pile. About two-thirds of it burned. The other third we were able to prevent the fire from getting into.”
Taft Coghill Jr: 540/374-5526
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