By Alexandria Hoff

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) —  A junkyard fire in Port Richmond caused delays on the Betsy Ross Bridge for several hours on Monday afternoon.

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It happened near Richmond and Lewis Streets where officials say tires were burning near the train tracks.

Drivers were diverted as smoky conditions led to the bridge being shut down in both directions while the flames were fought.  Those lanes opened again and the fire was deemed under control by 7:15 p.m. but it was no simple task.

“This area is known to be very difficult for water supply so we have ultimately went to two alarms mainly to get the water supply there to get the extra hose line,” said Assistant Fire Chief Tony Sneidar Jr. with the Philadelphia Fire Department.


Poor lighting and the fire burning on top of a hill were just a couple of the problems when it came to putting out the fire.

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“We realize that this large pile of rubbish is just that and it’s not worth our folks’ lives or injuries,” Sneidar said.

The devastating temperatures and wind chill were another factor for crews.



“We’ve also afforded opportunities for everybody to be kept warm fed and provided hot chocolate coffee and what not with the 2nd Alarmers, Salvation Army and SEPTA with their buses for our folks too,” added Sneidar.

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While roads that were closed during the fire have reopened, the rail line that runs alongside where this fire took place will be closed for quite some time according to authorities. We’re told that the line is not part of the Northeast Corridor so commuter travel should not be impacted.