CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Those driving along Shell Road in Chesterfield on Friday morning likely caught a glimpse of the massive smoke clouds that filled the air as a fierce blaze broke out alongside Interstate 95.
The fire started at a Yard Works facility around 3:30 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 10. Hours later, Chesterfield County Fire and EMS crews remained at the scene, working to fully extinguish the inferno.
The fire was marked “under control” by Chesterfield Fire just after 9 a.m., but responders told 8News that the process of completely killing the flames could take days and a lot of teamwork.
Throughout the day, central Virginia’s otherwise picturesque fall scene maintained its state — polluted by clouds of smoke cascading over I-95. Paul Jaszewski, who works near the site, said he saw the blaze prior to it being deemed “controlled.”
“I heard about it when I got here,” Jaszewski said. “They wouldn’t let us down the road to get to our locker.”
Officials told 8News that no one was injured and the fire didn’t reach nearby businesses or homes.
“The wind is whipping and the flames are high,” Jaszewski said about his experience witnessing the blaze. “Usually [roadside fires] you know, are on the side of the freeways. You see some of those grass fires, but not not a big mulch plant.”
In a statement, Yard Works — the business where the fire took place — gave a strong “thank you” to responders and the community for their support during the scary incident. They said a current priority is to work towards a solution to make sure such a frightening event doesn’t happen again.
According to the Virginia Department of Forestry, mulch fires are more common than people think. Most fires of this nature are started by people — but they can break out on their own, depending on weather and other external conditions.
The Chesterfield County Fire Department is still investigating the cause of this fire.