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Crews douse junkyard fire in West Valley City

WEST VALLEY CITY — A fire at a West Valley junkyard sent thick plumes of black smoke into the skies over the Salt Lake Valley.

The fire broke out near 5600 West and 2300 South about noon Monday. West Valley Fire Battalion Chief Bryan Larsen said crews could see the smoke as soon as they got the call.

"We had heavy smoke showing as we were leaving the station, so we knew we had a pretty big fire," Larsen said.

Fire crews arrived at the yard and found a number of items ablaze, including several vehicles, Larsen said. The yard appeared deserted, and firefighters immediately began dousing the flames, he said.

Though crews were concerned that winds could spread the flames "in a cascade of events" to other nearby yards, firefighters from West Valley City, Salt Lake City and South Salt Lake kept the blaze contained, Larsen said.

"There wasn't a risk to life as long as we got the fire contained quickly, which we did," he said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The Utah Department of Transportation briefly shut down southbound lanes on 5600 West at about 3100 South when the fire broke out because of reduced visibility. Traffic in all directions was allowed to resume just before 1 p.m.