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Tire-dump fire diverts traffic, closes airport

A fire at a dump of thousands of tires diverted rush-hour motorists in this Pittsburgh suburb Tuesday and prompted officials to close a small airport.

Tires caught fire late Monday at Suchko's Tire Dump, about 15 miles south of Pittsburgh. The fire continued to burn Tuesday despite a steady morning rainstorm.Fires in huge piles of used tires are particularly difficult to put out. A tire fire in February in southwestern Pennsylvania cost $1.5 million to clean up.

Because of the smoke, 15 homes near Suchko's dump were evacuated, and Rostraver Airport was closed. Traffic was detoured around nearby roads, including Pennsylvania 51, a major north-south highway.