Crews extinguish fire at North Austin warehouse

AUSTIN (KXAN)- Crews with the Austin Fire Department spent much of Sunday battling a three-alarm fire at a 90,000-square-foot warehouse in the 10000 block of Metric Boulevard, south of Kramer Lane.

AFD officials said the fire was isolated to recycled material in one of the businesses housed within the warehouse. One employee was taken to the hospital for minor smoke inhalation.

Neighbors and members of the recycling business say the company was in the process of moving out of the building.

The initial call came at 10:07 a.m. on Sunday. The call was elevated to a three-alarm fire at 10:47 a.m.

“(I saw) billowing, black smoke coming out of the back of the building. Actually, I could see it from Pflugerville. On my way over here we could see the black ball up in the air,” said Dusty Womble, who works at a business next door to the fire. The fire did not damage his business.

Erin Cargile/KXAN
Erin Cargile/KXAN

Seven minutes after the call came out for the fire,near Mopac and Steck Avenue, an AFD truck collided with a car. No injuries were reported.

Erin Cargile/KXAN
Erin Cargile/KXAN

Firefighters said they were concerned Sunday because a large structure typically holds smoke and heat inside. This added to the dangerous situation.

Large specialty fans were called in to aid with blowing smoke out of the building. Ventilation holes were also poked in the metal roof.

“Our crews were aborted when they walked in,” said Capt. Josh Portie, AFD PIO. “Within a mere few steps inside that door they couldn’t even see their hand in front of their face. That’s a very unsafe situation.”

Around 75 firefighters responded to the call, a quarter of all the city’s fire resources.

The fire was mostly contained as of 12:28p.m.. Crews had to work quickly early on due to the Red Flag Warning issued Sunday morning.

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