Crime - Sacto 911

Wall of flames burns hundreds of cars at Florin-area wrecking yard

A Florin-area wrecking yard burned Thursday night when a grass fire spread and developed into an inferno with towering flames.

“All I could see as I was arriving was a wall of fire,” said Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District Battalion Chief Tyler Wagaman. “Flame(s) appeared to be a couple hundred feet high, with hundreds of cars on fire. We had a rapidly spreading fire, a significant fuel load, and limited access to the wrecking yard.”

Metro Fire crews were called to a grass fire near the railroad tracks in the 7000 block of McComber Street about 10:30 p.m. Thursday. When they arrived, the fire had already spread to the dismantling yard. An estimated 235 vehicles burned.

Firefighters attacked on three sides of the blaze, positioning themselves in spots where they could hold the fire to the wrecking yard and stop it from crossing railroad tracks and onto other properties, a Metro Fire press release states.

The fire eventually was extinguished by personnel from Metro Fire, Cosumnes and Sacramento fire departments.

Wagaman said the risk to firefighters was great, but no injuries were reported. The cause of the blaze is under investigation, but it appears to have started in a nearby homeless encampment, fire investigators said.

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews