A fire burned at a Hayward scrap yard Saturday afternoon, a fire captain said.
The fire was reported at Sims Metal Management at about 1:40 p.m. at 30104 Industrial Parkway SW, fire Capt. Don Nichelson said.
Crews put out the fire Saturday night, and there is just charred metal left behind. Firefighters said the good news is they were able to put out the fire fairly quickly.
Thick smoke billowed into the air Saturday afternoon from the Sims facility, but firefighters had the flames under control within 20 minutes. The fire was out by 3 p.m.
The fire is prompting concerns Saturday night not just about air quality, but also about why there have been a series of fires at facilities in the Bay Area owned by the same company. Last year, Sims Metal faced scrutiny for two large fires at a metal scrapyard in Redwood City--they happened within weeks of each other.
Investigators have determined the Dec. 17 fire was arson but still have not made any arrests. A Sims spokeswoman said there was another fire at the Hayward facility that was also deemed arson a few years ago.
"In 2009, we had a fire in Hayward and we actually have videotape of someone throwing something over the fence, but in this case, we have no idea what started it. It’s too early," Jill Rodby said.
The fire caused quite a scare for people who live and work nearby.
"The smoke was so thick that it scared me," Union City resident Barbara Patterson. "That’s why I came home and closed all my doors and windows."
People who live east of the facility in Hayward were robo-called Saturday afternoon and warned to shelter-in-place. That shelter-in-place was lifted, and at this point, there were no advisories from the Air District.
The facility was closed at the time of the fire, but there were security guards on site.
Surveillance cameras could provide clues as to what caused the fire.