A large plume of black smoke rising north of Interstate 40 in West Knox County Wednesday afternoon was caused by a vehicle fire at an auto parts recycler, according to Rural/Metro Fire.

Rural/Metro said several vehicles caught fire at the business at 9922 Hall Drive off Dutchtown Road.

The fire started when the property owner was cutting a part off a car with a torch, and the torch lit a flammable liquid, officials said.


The fire quickly spread through the junkyard causing several small explosions. There were no reports of injuries.

A Rural/Metro spokesperson said they were working around several hazards on the site, including multiple cars with partially filled gas tanks. The fire was about 900 feet from the road, and the property has a narrow driveway, complicating the fire crews' response.

Crews were working to pull apart the cars that caught fire to get down to the seat of the fire, the spokesperson said.

Smoke from the fire was visible from I-40 east of Pellissippi.

Rural/Metro Fire said several vehicles are on fire at an auto parts recyler in West Knox County. Oct. 11, 2017.