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WELLSTON, Mo. – One firefighter with the Mid-County Fire Protection District suffered a heat-related illness while battling a scrapyard fire in Wellston Wednesday afternoon.

Several scrapped cars at the Scrap Solutions lot near Page and Sutter Avenues caught fire, sending smoke into the air.

“We had one firefighter who pretty much almost passed out,” said Mid-County Fire Protection District Chief Sean Mahoney.

He said the call came in as a couple of scrapped cars on fire but when firefighters arrived, they found approximately 15-20 of the junked cars were on fire.

The owner of the scrapyard said he believes a battery in one of the cars sparked the fire. Mahoney said there was so much damage that it will likely be impossible to tell exactly how that fire started.

Firefighters from Clayton, University City, and the Northeast Fire Protection District also responded.

Mahoney said firefighters often train in the heat to be prepared for days like this one. Heat indices were more than 100 degrees when firefighters were battling the fire.

“You definitely want to stay hydrated and try to stay out of the sun as much as possible, which is tough to do in this type of environment,” he said.