UPDATE: Firefighters contain fire that started amid junk cars at RJ Recycling

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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - UPDATE: 8/13/2017 11:50 a.m

The Parkersburg Fire Department received a call a little after noon on Saturday about a fire at RJ Recycling on Garfield Avenue.

Officials say an employee told them a car battery exploded while a car was in the "crusher."

An employee tried using fire extinguishers to put out blaze but was unsuccessful.

The fire grew too big for the employee to handle. Flames were about 30-to-40-feet in the air when firefighters arrived, according to Parkersburg Fire Capt. Craig Wix.

"Every once in awhile, they catch flammable material on fire," he says. "It's a small controllable fire. Something like this is a rarity here, but it does happen.”

UPDATE: 08/12/17 3:00 P.M.

Garfield Avenue has reopened.

ORIGINAL STORY: 08/12/17 1:29 P.M.

A large fire at RJ Recycling in Parkersburg is sending thick, black smoke over the area, and fire officials are urging anyone with respiratory problems to remain indoors.

Garfield Avenue in Parkersburg is currently shutdown, and southbound traffic into downtown is being rerouted onto 19th Street.

The Parkersburg Police Department has officers directing traffic at several intersections in the area while firefighters continue to fight the fire.

A Parkersburg Fire Department spokesman says a passserby noticed smoke coming a from a large pile of junk cars on the property and alerted company officials who contacted 911.

A dispatch supervisor at the Wood County 911 center says the call came in about 12:15 p.m.

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