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Large explosions rock Edwards scrap yard fire

TIMES STAFF WRITER
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EDWARDS — A scrap yard was rocked by several explosions Friday morning when a building caught fire.


Nine fire departments responded about 1 a.m. to Phelps Auto and Scrap Yard, 2439 Route 58, owned by James Phelps, St. Lawrence County fire officials said. Firefighters were kept at bay for a while because of several propane and oxygen tank explosions and the potential for flying shrapnel.


"There were many explosions. Some of them were large," Fire Investigator W. Joseph Lacks said. "Some of the fire clouds reached up to 100 feet."


Jane Phelps said she was sleeping when she heard "something blow up." She looked out her window and saw that an auto garage housed in a converted barn was on fire and called 911.


"It was a total loss," Ms. Phelps said.


Fire departments from Edwards, Gouverneur, Harrisville, Hermon, Russell, Star Lake, Pyrites, Fine and Richville responded to the scene, fire officials said.


Phelps Auto and Scrap Yard remains open and is accepting scrap metal, Ms. Phelps said. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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