By David Raleigh
A massive fire is raging at a scrap metal recycling factory in Limerick tonight.
The fire broke out at the United Metals commercial premises on the Ballysimon Road, shortly after 8pm.
Large plumes of smoke can be seen billowing from the area, for miles around.
Limerick City and County Fire Service, which is responding to the blaze, has asked people living in the vicinity of the fire to close their doors and windows as a health and safety precaution.
A spokesperson at the Munster Fire Control headquarters said it received a 999 alert around 8.18pm about a fire at the United Metals company, Ballysimon Road, Limerick.
Up to ten fire trucks have been dispatched to tackle the blaze.
Major fire at United Metals , Ballysimon Road,Limerick. Fire services from Limerick and Clare at the scene. pic.twitter.com/VfJB82yEIW— JJ Bowles (Limerick's Oldest Pub) (@jjbowlespub) August 27, 2018
United Metals has been operating since 2010 and is involved in exporting all materials bought, directly into the international markets.
It also operates from a site at Limerick Docks where it recycles waste which is shipped to mills all over the world
A bystander who is close to the scene of the fire said they heard “a number of loud explosions” coming from the scrap metal yard as the fire rages on.
“The flames are fifty to sixty foot high, they’re rising up over warehouses at the yard,” they added.