Explosive Fire at Auto Parts Yard Casts Bright Glow Over Sylmar

Combustible metals on the spare auto parts property fed flames that cast a glow over the north San Fernando Valley community

Smoke and flames could be seen for miles around Sylmar early Tuesday when a fire burned a business with stacked car parts and materials that fueled bright flames.

Los Angeles Fire Battalion Chief Albert Ward said combustible metals were on the spare auto parts property in the 8500 block of North San Fernando Road. The materials, such as titanium, can give fire an intense glow.

"They burn very hot. They emit a lot of light," Ward said. "It burns at a different color. When you add water to that equation, it becomes explosive."

Firefighters prevented the fire from spreading to nearby buildings and also corralled two dogs guarding the property. The fire was knocked down in about 40 minutes.

No injuries were reported. A cause was not immediately determined.

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