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11-09-21-southwest-philly-junkyard-fire-kylie-cooper
Smoke from a junkyard fire in Southwest Philadelphia spreads across the city, as seen from Harnwell College House on Nov. 9. Credit: Kylie Cooper

Penn's Division of Public Safety released guidelines Wednesday morning for the University community to stay safe following a junkyard fire on Tuesday, but did not cancel University operations or classes.

As smoke continues to blanket the city from Tuesday's fire, DPS recommended that people stay indoors. The alert also recommended that people close windows, wear a mask outdoors, avoid outdoor exercise, and run air purifiers if possible.

The fire started Tuesday afternoon at a junkyard in Southwest Philadelphia, 6ABC reported. The junkyard was used to recycle large items, including big pieces of wood. Crews managed to get the fire under control after approximately two and a half hours, but thick black smoke was seen across the city and into New Jersey on Tuesday night, 6ABC reported.

On Tuesday night, Residential Services wrote in an email to students living on campus that they should close their windows if they have concerns about air quality or the odor of the smoke. 

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health is testing air samples for toxic pollution and recommended that those with heart or lung problems avoid exerting themselves in areas with smoke.

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