BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Several skids of burning plastic and recyclables sent plumes of black smoke into the air next to the 29th Street bridge Thursday.
Altoona City firefighters were dispatched at 1:30 p.m. to the parking lot of a warehouse next to the 29th Street bridge between Eighth Avenue and Beale Avenue. Embers from a fire that had been built by some workers to keep warm earlier in the day ignited the fire according to Altoona Fire Inspector Adam Free. The bridge was shut down for over an hour as a result.
“Obviously, on a windy day like today the fire spread,” Free said. The blaze took about 20 minutes to extinguish, and firefighters then worked to separate the burnt plastic to ensure there were no hot spots. The fire is being ruled accidental and no one was injured.
Free said a trailer containing refrigeration equipment was damaged as well as the bridge itself. An engineer will reportedly inspect the bridge to evaluate the extent of the damage to the concrete.