• Officials: Lightning might have sparked scrap metal fire at Orange County recycling facility

    By: Jason Kelly , Q McCray , Sarah Wilson


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A pile of scrap metal caught fire Monday afternoon at a recycling facility in Orange County's Lockhart neighborhood sending plumes of thick, black smoke into the air. 

    The fire marshal said Tuesday that lightning may have sparked the blaze. The investigation into the official cause is continuing.

    Skywitness 9 showed massive flames shooting upward and smoke billowing into the sky, which could be seen from miles away.

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    Witness Colton Franklin described the plume as a "gaping cloud of black."

    "It was big. It was intense looking," he said.

    The fire was reported shortly before 4:45 p.m. at the facility on Apopka Boulevard near North Orange Blossom Trail and Maitland Boulevard.

    Carrie Proudfit, with Orange County Fire Rescue, said the first 911 calls reported flames shooting up to 30 feet high.

    She said it took crews an hour and a half to put out the blaze because 200 tons of scrap metal had to be removed and doused in water. And, she said, that water had to come from the closest fire hydrant, which was a mile away from the fire.

    Crews were making sure the flames stayed out Tuesday morning.

    Officials said the business where the fire broke out is a recycling facility and a metal yard.

    Firefighters said no injuries were reported.

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    Check back and watch Channel 9 Eyewitness News for live updates on this developing story.

    See the blaze from Skywitness 9 below:

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