Recycled bottles erupt in flames in St. Helens

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The fire was near Railroad Avenue and Old Portland Road

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Crews battled a large fire at a commercial area in St. Helens Sunday evening.

Columbia River Fire and Rescue said the fire near Railroad Avenue and Old Portland Road was originally reported as a small trash fire but the first engine to arrive saw it was much larger and called more crews.

“You could see smoke from 10 miles away,” Division Chief Eric Smythe said. “Upon our arrival, we found a 150 to 150-foot spot of recycled material on fire.”

Smythe said the recycled bottles that were burning are made of propylene, which “likes to burn and once it gets going, it burns hot and black.”

The fire was under control by 5:15 p.m. by attacking it defensively to avoid exposing firefighters to the chemicals.

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