The worst is over in a South Phoenix industrial area after a fire Wednesday at an oil recycling company triggers a hazmat situation and evacuations. Phoenix Fire Captain Larry Subervi says the focal point of the fire was a four thousand gallon drum of used motor oil, igniting sky-high flames

and smoke that could be seen for miles.

At one point, there were several explosions, turning a 55 gallon drum into a projectile. Subervi says, the blast was powerful enough to shoot the drum from the back of the business to the front, almost hitting a Fire Department command vehicle, but not before bouncing off power lines.

Subervi says, after several explosions, firefighters were able to get a handle on the flames, it took an hour for things to calm down before the situation was reduced to several spot fires to put out.

Cause of the fire at Solvent Recy-Clean at 19th Avenue and Broadway is under investigation. Subervi says evacuations were successful and there were no reported injuries. Subervi says the business has a good record of handling recycled materials such as motor and transmission fluids.

–Barbara Villa

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