WATERTOWN, Wis. (July 21, 2005) — Firefighters have contained a massive tire fire consuming as many as half of the estimated 1 million scrap tires stockpiled at Watertown Recyclers L.L.C. near Watertown, a town of 22,000 about 35 miles west of Milwaukee.
Thomas Springer, owner of the site, told local media he believed the fire began July 19 by either a spark or internal combustion in a tire pile, but he could not be reached for further comment.
Some 120 firefighters managed to contain the fire to a six-acre area, minimizing runoff and environmental damage, said Blaine Lauersdorf, chief deputy at the Watertown Sheriff Department.
The town plans to use micro-encapsulating foam to put the fire out, said Lt. Tim Gordon of the Watertown Fire Department.