A vehicle fell off a rack and landed on an automotive battery, causing an arc that ignited gas fumes and started a fire at Cascade Metal Recyclers in Merlin Monday afternoon.

A vehicle fell off a rack and landed on an automotive battery, causing an arc that ignited gas fumes and started a fire at Cascade Metal Recyclers in Merlin Monday afternoon.

Crews responding to the 3:48 p.m. report found fire burning through the roof of the building at 700 Merlin Road, according to a news release today from Jess Webb of Rural/Metro Fire District.

One employee of the business was treated for smoke inhalation at the scene, but no other injuries were reported.

Webb said the fire started when a vehicle on the rack of a fuel extractor fell off the rack and landed on an automotive battery. The battery arced and ignited gas fumes.

He said the state Department of Environmental Quality will follow up on the incident after an unspecified amount of fuel drained into nearby Louse Creek. Fire crews used containment measures to limit the spill, he said.

Twenty-seven firefighters and eight engines fought the blaze, which was out in about 20 minutes. The loss was estimated at $50,000, Web said.

— Staff reports