Large fire at recycling center near Syracuse

By Erika Mahoney

June 23, 2013 Updated Jun 24, 2013 at 9:35 AM EDT

Town of DeWitt, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Police are searching for answers after a large fire broke out at the Metalico Aluminum Recovery in the town of DeWitt.

The fire erupted on Saturday afternoon.

It took fire crews more than four hours to put it out.

Bystanders said clouds of billowing black smoke were visible for hours and that there was an usual odor.

"Oh yeah, it was a chemical smell." Dawn Gallup said. "Like I said, I kept my windows up. But you could still smell it coming through the vents. So it was pretty heavy, very heavy."

"It had the smell of an electrical fire, or like a rubber factory burning," said William Cavalier,

Officials said the fire started near the recycling plant in a pile of debris that contained scrap metal, rubber and household goods.

The New York Department of Conservation said there are no health risks from this fire.

Seven fire departments responded.

They were able to keep the fire from spreading to the plant.