Large Structure Fire Damages Businesses Off Highway 271 & I-540

FORT SMITH (KFSM) --  A large structure fire happened off Highway 271 just outside of Fort Smith, northeast of the Choctaw Casino,  on Sunday (Aug. 5) night.

Fort Smith Fire Department and police responded with other emergency crews.

FSPD reports that the fire was at Altes Sanitation on Highway 271 and I-540, just outside Fort Smith city limits, and were asking for those traveling in the area to use caution. The roads near the intersection were redirected as crews fought to contain the blaze.

Emergency crews said the fire broke out in a section of Altes Sanitation that was storing cardboard and paper bales.

The fire started to spread quickly to Southern Tire Mart, but crews said they were able to contain it before it fully spread to the business , though there may be some areas of the building with damage.

This fire broke out shortly before 9 p.m., and at 9:10 one explosion was heard by the 5NEWS crews.

5NEWS reporter Allie Lynch spoke with the general manager's wife from the tire shop who said, "no one is inside the building and no one is injured."

Facebook photo courtesy Maureen Austin.

Facebook photo courtesy Laurell Newton.

Every surrounding fire department was called to the scene.

Sebastian County Emergency Management Member Travis Cooper said the south side of Fort Smith has a lack of fire hydrants. To support the Fort Smith Fire Department with the effort, tanker trucks from surrounding cities like Hackett and Bonanza were called to help.

Areas along Interstate 540 were slowed when the fire broke out. Areas of Highway 271 and 253 were temporarily shut down and traffic was rerouted.

The City of Fort Smith responded to the lack of fire hydrants near Altes Sanitation statement here.