First night inferno: a firefighter is silhouetted by billowing flames in the early hours of the blaze, Feb. 12, 1990. Hamilton Historical collection Hagersville fire Tyre King tire Paul Hourigan, The Hamilton Spectator
First night inferno: a silhouette in billowing flames during the early hours at the Tyre King recycling yard, Feb. 12, 1990. Paul Hourigan, Hamilton Spectator

The Hagersville tire fire started in the early morning hours of Feb. 12, 1990 as a lark by five Ohsweken-area teens.  It consumed 14 million tires, spewed toxic smoke for 17 days, drove 4,000 from their homes and cost the province more than $10 million for a year-long clean up.  It remains the worst environmental disaster in Ontario history.

See more about the fire:

BURNING: The Hagersville tire fire blazed for 17 days

AFTERMATH: The cleanup cost more than $10 million

The snow covered fields near Hagersville look tranquil today

MORE FIRE PHOTOS: On The Spec Photo blog

 

A blaze at Tyre King Tyre Recycling in Hagersville kept about 75 firefighters busy today. It is estimated that about 13 million tires are stored on the recycling property. David House, a dispatch captain with the Hagersville Fire Department, said it could take a week before the fire is completely extinguished. Paul Hourigan, The Hamilton Spectator Feb. 12, 1990 Hamilton Historical collection Hagersville tire fire Tyre King
The fury of the blaze. Paul Hourigan, Hamilton Spectator
Thick, black smoke rises from the blaze at Tyre King Tyre Recycling near Hagersville yesterday that forced about 50 families living nearby to seek refuge. Hagersville tire fire Tyre King Hamilton Historical collection Feb. 13, 1990 Ted Brellisford, The Hamilton Spectato
Thick, black smoke rises from the Tyre King fire on the morning after the blaze was ignited. Ted Brellisford, Hamilton Spectator