Scrap Mart Metals in Jonesburg, Missouri, caught fire near western Warren County on October 20, 2023.
A massive fire struck the Scrap Mart Metals Recycling Facility in Jonesburg on Friday that lasted for several hours.
No one was hurt in the fire and no cause of the blaze was determined.
The fire started at 5:47 a.m. Emergency Management Director Jim Sharp said the fire contained a mixture of fabric, foam insulation and small pieces of plastic.
“Pretty much everything in there that was on fire was about the size of a deck of cards,” Sharp said.
Numerous firefighters from Montgomery and Warren counties, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department and the Jonesburg Police Department were on the scene. Sharp said the large fire was difficult to put out.
“It was a large and a fully unstabled pile, so there was a safety issue with the apparatus,” Sharp said. “Think of a mulch fire with something besides mulching. The stuff underneath the smolder was very compacted.”
A shelter-in-place advisory was in effect for over two hours, meaning properties to the south and east of the fire scene had to seek shelter, close doors and windows, turn off HVAC (heaters, ventilation and air conditioners) and stay indoors.
“We are very grateful to the National Weather Service,” Sharp said. “I called them early and asked for what they called a high split run and that is a combination of wind speed, wind direction and atmosphere pressure. They are able to give us a very definitive region where this flume may spread. They were super helpful.”
Schools in the area of the fire scene such as Jonesburg Elementary School – which was a mile west of Scrap Mart – remained open.
“I have been in contact over the phone with the schools that we know that are in the wind direction, making sure that we emphasize and send messages that we put out to the public,” Sharp said. “If you smell the smoke, please don’t let your kids go outside for recess, shut your doors and shut your windows.”