NBC Universal, Inc.

Chicago firefighters spent hours fighting a massive blaze at a metal recycling facility on the city’s Near West Side from Saturday night through Sunday morning.

The fire broke out at around 9 p.m. Saturday at Universal Scrap Metals, 2500 W. Fulton St.

Fueled by gas lines that were difficult to shut off, the large fire burned tons of recycled copper and continued to smolder Sunday evening. By then, the flames had been extinguished, and the majority of crews had left the scene after putting out hotspots.

As the fire tore through, it destroyed parts of the structure, reducing the walls and ceiling to rubble.

The smell continued to linger nearly 24 hours after the fire began and sent plumes of smoke into the air. What caused the fire remained unclear late Sunday.

An investigation was underway.

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