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Three-alarm fire near Mitchell International

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Photo: Video by tmj4.com

Three-alarm fire near Mitchell International

By Cody Holyoke and Michele Fiore. CREATED Apr 24, 2014 - UPDATED: Apr 24, 2014

MILWAUKEE -- Fire crews battled a warehouse fire at a salvage yard near Mitchell International Airport.

An employee at the salvage yard says seven large propane tanks exploded in a warehouse at Roz Auto Salvage around noon on Thursday. Around 12 departments responded to the incident.

Wisconsin Emergency Management tells TODAY'S TMJ4 that the propane tanks were most likely small welding tanks.

Airport operations were not affected by the fire, as smoke plumes were not interfering with planes in any way.

MFD Assistant Chief of Operations Dan Lipski said there were no injuries to report and that crews would continue working on "hot spots," but as of 2:45 PM the fire was fully continained. Lipski credited the fast response by fire crews to prevent the fire from spreading to nearby buildings. The main building is considered a total loss.

Drivers near the scene had to find an alternate route to Mitchell International Airport after officials closed the Airport Spur from I-94 in both directions. The spur was re-opened just after 1 PM.

For neighbors, the smoky fire at Roz's Auto Salvage plant at 14th and Grange looked like something from a movie. Those living directly across the street had a front row seat. They had big concerns that it could get out of hand fast.

It was right around Noon when neighbors heard seven explosions coming from Roz Auto Salvage yard. The thick black smoke was causing concern for Mitchell International Airport, less than two miles away. Far more concerned seem to be Roz's neighbors. Mohammed Abdulughod lives in an apartment across the street and captured video on his cell phone.

"There was a lot of explosions, a lot of those cars out there exploded. The engines and oil, all salvage cars, the officers were banging on our doors, firefighters too, trying to evacuate us outta the house," said Abdulugohd.

Residents were allowed to get back into their homes rather quickly.