Magnesium fire lights up Dundalk area

Daniel Lee Himes captured photos of a large magnesium fire off Grays Road last Wednesday.

Magnesium fire lights up Dundalk area

A pile of debris containing magnesium which caught fire last week caused a bright display in the area.

Just after 8 p.m. last Wednesday, firefighters were dispatched to a Grays Road address which houses an industrial packing plant and a trucking company for a call reporting a pile of building materials on fire, according to Elise Armacost, the county’s fire spokesperson.

“They started extinguishing it, which is kind of routine,” Armacost said. But standard procedures ignited the fire even more.

Firefighters then determined the pile of debris contained magnesium, which only burns brighter when extinguished through normal methods.

The bright fire from the magnesium created a “spectacular light show across Eastern Baltimore County,” the Baltimore County Volunteer Firefighters’ association tweeted that night.

Daniel Lee Himes was one of many in the area who captured photos of the fire reflecting into the sky. He said that he saw the fire while he was at work nearby. Photos also circulated from as far as Bowley’s Quarters, showing the bright burn.

The fire was initially reported as burning at Baltimore Packaging, but a man answering the phone there last week said it was not at the plant. A representative for Sky Harbor Trucking, another business located there, said they would not comment on the matter.

Armacost said a hazmat team had to be called in, with about 20 units responding. The fire was eventually extinguished by bringing in a “truck full of sand” which suffocated the fire.