Lightning strike caused fire at Harrisburg recycling center

A fire at a Harrisburg recycling center Thursday was caused by lightning, according to the city’s fire chief.

Fire Chief Brian Enterline said surveillance video confirmed a bolt of lightning hit Consolidated Scrap Resources around 1:35 a.m.

About 90 minutes later, fire crews responded to the 1600 block of N. Cameron Street and began battling a blaze that sent up a towering plume of smoke visible for several miles.

Firefighters spent several hours digging through and dousing water on a nearly four-story pile of shredded scrap metal, automotive parts and other materials.

“Once we get that opened and we get to the bottom of that pile, things will start getting better,” Enterline said. “We had some teams out monitoring the air earlier today with no elevated readings. It looks nasty, smells nasty, but we’re not concerned for the public’s health at this time.”

Members of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, the state Department of Environmental Protection, and Dauphin County’s hazardous materials team monitored air quality at the business and in the city.

Enterline said young children, the elderly and those with respiratory ailments should stay indoors with windows closed to avoid the smoke.

Cameron Street remains open in the area.

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