SANTIAGO – A large fire started in a stockpile of disused tires of the “Famaprica” Company, located in the sector of Rinconada, in the municipality of Maipú.
It was estimated that at least 3,000 tires are in combustion since the fire broke out Thursday morning, leaving a large column of smoke that can be seen from various parts of the western sector of Santiago.
⭕ Impactante imagen aérea del incendio en un acopio de neumáticos en desuso, ubicado en Rinconada de Maipú. Según autoridades se extenderá todo el día ➡ https://t.co/nvJdxLBbKl pic.twitter.com/slj5l0KFYo
— 24 Horas (@24HorasTVN) August 30, 2018
According to the information provided by the Regional Office of ONEMI Metropolitana, the fire is still active and that firefighters are still working to control it by continuing the security perimeter of 500 meters around to the place of the event.
Si estás fuera de casa y cercano a un lugar con un foco activo de incendio, utiliza un protector respiratorio contra partículas como un paño húmedo, cubriendo boca y nariz. Más recomendaciones ante exposición de humo y cenizas de incendio 👇#RMdeTodos pic.twitter.com/VbaKVconuI
— Seremi de Salud RM (@SeremiSaludRM) August 30, 2018
In addition, the Environment SEREMI is coordinating the installation of a portable station to monitor the air condition in the sector.
So far, 32 evacuated people and three volunteers with minor injuries are reported. Vehicular traffic along the Camino a Rinconada remains interrupted, according to local media.
— Felipe Henríquez O. (@PipeHenriquezO) August 30, 2018
The mayor of Maipu, Cathy Barriga, believes the fire is intentional over the early reports. She said they received information about a protest and four tires being burned.
The official is currently in the area working with emergency teams. She has helped with the evacuations of the residents, who have been told to remain out of the area until the large clouds of smoke and fire are gone.
⚠️🔥 Estamos en terreno en incendio en centro de acopio de neumáticos en Camino a Rinconada #Maipú. Se evacuaron 6 casa cercanas d forma preventiva, c/20 adultos y 6 niños. Bomberos d distintas comunas apoyan combate de fuego. Evento en desarrollo #IntendentaEnAcción #RMdeTodos pic.twitter.com/mu4d9nu8Or
— Intendencia RM (@IntendenciaRM) August 30, 2018
Although the mayor couldn’t confirm if the fire is intentional but said authorities will take legal action against those who are responsible if they find out that it is intentional.
The Environmental Crimes Brigade of the PDI will investigate the causes of the fire.
Authorities in the commune have revealed that the company in charge of the tire storage does not have all the permissions to store that amount of tires.