DAYTON — UPDATE @ 8:47 a.m.:
Firefighters are still working to finish extinguishing a tornado debris fire on Harshman Road.
“We’re still here mopping up right now,” said Dayton Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Lykins. “Looks like the fire did jump some of the piles, so we’re going to get a ladder here and finish up, get the hot spots.”
>> PHOTOS: Firefighters battle large fire in wood piles in Dayton
While arson investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire, Lykins said it isn't uncommon during decomposition for debris to catch on fire.
The fire is contained, but crew did encounter some hurdles in fighting the fire, including wind.
“Obviously when you this much product on fire you need copious amounts of water,” Lykins said. “Right now we're working off one hydrant. There are hydrants in this abandoned shopping center and we're working with the water department to get those turned back on.”
He expects the fire to be put out sometime today.
UPDATE @ 7:49 a.m.:
Our crew on the scene of the Harshman Road fire reported that the arson investigator has arrived.
The fires are not out, however - firefighters said that they would likely be monitoring the two burning debris piles for a few days before they are out entirely.
Fire crews said they are concerned that they fire might spread to the other debris piles nearby.
UPDATE @ 5:23 a.m.:
Our crew on scene has reported that the fire on Harshman Road has been contained to two of the debris piles.
However, fire crews said that due to how strong the fire was, they would not be able to directly put out the flames. Fire officials said that flames were shooting 50-60 feet in the air.
Instead, fire crews used heavy equipment to isolate the burning piles and will wait for the fire to burn down to a manageable level to extinguish them.
Fire officials said that a second fire crew was initially on scene from Riverside, but has since left.
UPDATE @ 4:52 a.m.:
Fire officials on the scene of a large fire in piles of wood debris told us they are trying to contain the flames from reaching a neighborhood on the other side of the blaze from Harshman Road.
When asked if the fire was intentional, the official said that he didn’t see how else it could have started.
He also said that the fire department would not be bringing in another fire crew to help fight the fire.
UPDATE @ 2: 12 a.m.:
Firefighters are battling a huge blaze amid piles of wood debris on Harshman Road.
Our crew on scene reported that the lot of the former Meijer contains multiple large piles of wood debris ranging in size from small chips to large branches. The lot is surrounded by living trees.
He reported being able to see the fire for miles away due to a large smoke cloud lit by the flames.
We are hearing multiple reports of a brush fire at the former site of the Meijer in the 2700 block of Harshman Road.
Fire crews are on scene.
We are working to learn more and will update this story when more information is available.