Smoke Advisory Issued After Recycling Plant Fire Erupts in Flames

A smoke advisory was issued Friday night for the Inland Empire as a fire burned through a recycling plant in Ontario.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District issued the advisory for Friday night and Saturday morning.

A fire, fueled by tall stacks of wood pallets and cardboard at a recycling business near Ontario International Airport, sent a massive column of black smoke into the air that could be seen for miles.

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The inferno was burning Friday near East State Street and South Bon View Avenue, about a mile west of the airport, in a yard roughly the size of a city block. Aerial footage showed flames spreading to at least one structure and three flatbed pickup trucks.

"I really thought that our house was going to be gone," said Gabriel Lopez, a nearby resident who had to evacuate. "It was really that bad."

The blaze appeared to be contained within the yard. Airport officials said it was not affecting flights or airport operations.

Ontario Fire Department officials hope the blaze will be out by noon Saturday.

The smoke advisory urges residents to avoid "vigorous outdoor or indoor exertion."

"People with respiratory or heart disease, older adults, and children should remain indoors," the advisory said. "Keep windows and doors closed or seek alternate shelter."

A firefighter suffered burns to his hand and a bystander suffered smoke inhalation, according to the fire department.

The cause of the fire is unknown.

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