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Large illegal junkyard catches fire in Motobu Town

Date Posted: 2003-06-07

An illegal junkyard containing as many as 1,000 cars caught fire Sunday and threatened to spread to a nearby gasoline stand at Ohama, Motobu Town.

Prefecture officials say the owner of the junkyard has been told several times to get rid of the junk, as he has no permit to store scrapped cars there.

The property owner is reportedly from Itoman City, but he disappeared in April and the prefecture officials have been unable to contact him since. Police are conducting an investigation into the cause of the fire, which burned about half of the cars.

Officials said the owner originally registered his business as exporting used cars to North Korea. However, they say that as the cars just started piling up on the property and nothing was ever taken out, they ordered the owner in January to remove the junk and clear the area, but nothing was ever done.

About 60 firemen battled the fire before it was extinguished in mid afternoon. They also brought five cranes from a near-by construction site to remove junk cars from the vicinity of the neighboring gas station.

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