RI Fire Marshal: 100 cars destroyed in Smithfield junkyard fire


SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WPRI) — The R.I. State Fire Marshal is investigating after a fire destroyed dozens of cars inside a Smithfield junkyard Monday night.

Deputy State Fire Marshal James Given said approximately 100 used or junk cars in the Five Star Auto Salvage lot on Douglas Pike went up in flames.

Given said it was a hazardous fire to fight since the nearest hydrant was located thousands of feet away from the junkyard’s entrance and the cars involved contained oils and gasoline.

“The interiors and things like that, it’s all combustible material,” Given said. “It is a salvage yard and some of the vehicles still have fuel in them so that all presents challenges for the fire department.”

While the engulfed vehicles were spread throughout the four-acre junkyard, Smithfield Fire Chief Bob Seltzer said the fire was contained to the lot.

Seltzer also said it’s not uncommon for a fire to break out inside a junkyard like this one.

“It’s just a large dump fire basically, it’s typical,” Seltzer said. “We’ve had fires here in the past caused by welding, [as in] they were welding during the day and set some cars on fire … we don’t know what happened here [this time], but it’s not unusual.”

No one was injured, nor was anyone inside the lot when the fire broke out, according to Seltzer.

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