For the second time in less than a week, the Merritt Area Fire Department not only battled a fire but also frigid temperatures and snowy conditions.
At 1:50 a.m. on Feb. 19, the fire department was dispatched to a report of a large fire at Phil's Towing facility located on East Houghton Lake Road in Missaukee County's Aetna Township. Once on scene, fire units found a large pile of used scrap automobile parts fully engulfed. The fire crew battled heavy smoke, fire, snowy conditions and frigid temperature before the blaze was extinguished, according to a press release by Merritt Fire Chief Ed Nettle.
During the blaze, the press release stated towing company personnel assisted firefighters with heavy equipment to pull the large pile of mixed automobile and salvage parts apart. The goal was to keep the fire from spreading to a large number of used vehicles as well as a nearby pile of tires.