Firefighters spent several hours battling a massive blaze at a Cedar Falls salvage yard on Monday (April 10, 2017).

The fire broke out around 8:30 a.m. at Aikey Auto Salvage, 1524 Independence St. A plume of think, black smoke could be seen for several miles and was visible from downtown Waterloo. Crews were still at the scene after 1 p.m.

Investigators believe embers from a trash fire likely ignited cars in the salvage yard. Officials said burning tires caused the heavy, dark smoke.

The blaze was difficult for firefighters to put out because of its location. Aikey's Auto Salvage is in an isolated area of Cedar Falls that has no fire hydrants. Crews were forced to haul water to the scene, using tanker trucks from the Hudson and Janesville departments.

Officials said a railroad track that runs adjacent to the salvage yard was temporarily shut down as a precaution, but traffic on nearby U.S. Highway 218/Iowa Highway 27 was not affected. No injuries were reported.

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