Stored ammo set off by fire

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first_imgPALMDALE – Fireballs lit up the pre-dawn sky when thousands of bullets and gunpowder stored in a cargo container in an industrial storage yard caught fire. Firefighters leaving stations in downtown Palmdale and west Palmdale after receiving a 4:11 a.m. call about a fire in a Sierra Highway storage yard saw three mushroom-like fireballs shoot into the night sky south of the city. “They could be seen from five miles away,” Battalion Chief Joey Reed said. “When (firefighters) arrived, they heard thousands of rounds of ammunition going off.” Thursday’s fire at the U.S. Crane storage yard hurt no one and nothing was damaged, other than the cargo container holding the ammunition and a nearby cargo truck containing truck parts, but firefighters let the fire burn for about 45 minutes before moving in to extinguish it because of the danger of more explosions. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsU.S. Crane owner Dan Jenkins said the ammunition was military surplus bought for resale at gun shows. Fire officials said they didn’t know what caused the fire, but Jenkins said one firefighter told him it might have been caused by lightning from a thunderstorm that passed through the Antelope Valley. Sheriff’s arson detectives were called in to investigate. When firefighters arrived at the storage yard in the 35500 block of Sierra Highway, two fire engines moved inside the fence but stayed about 500 feet away from the fire for about 45 minutes, until the exploding-ammunition sounds died down, Reed said. “When we see explosions like that, we are concerned,” Reed said. Firefighters with binoculars were sent into an adjoining field and onto Pearblossom Highway overlooking the yard to see what was burning. The yard lacked the required placard noting what hazardous materials were there, Reed said. Fire officials called for a hazardous-materials crew to assist them. Firefighters moved in to extinguish the adjoining cargo trailer when it caught fire, then moved a fire engine into the neighboring field and, from about 250 feet away, sprayed water from a mounted nozzle onto the flames. Then firefighters were able to move in with hoses and attack the flames directly, Reed said. Reed said the container held thousands of rounds of ammunition, up to .50 caliber in size, as well as gunpowder and smokeless powder used by gun enthusiasts to load their own ammunition. [email protected] (661) 267-5742160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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