Fire crews had their hands full overnight battling a difficult fire on Richmond's Mitchell Island.

The flames broke out around 8 p.m. Thursday at AABC Recyclers Group, the same vehicle scrap yard where a massive fire was sparked back in January.

The building was already on the verge of collapse when firefighters arrived, and they initially had to work from a distance because fuel tanks were exploding.

"We have a lot of different hazards," Richmond Deputy Fire Chief Tim Wilkinson said. "We have fuel issues, we have oils, we have all sorts of different plastics and the like from the recycling process."

Witnesses said one person was trapped behind a fence in the scrap yard as the fire raged. Justyn Watson, who also works on Mitchell Island, told CTV News he heard the man calling for help and drove over to offer some assistance.

"I just pulled the front end of my truck up there so he could basically flip over the fence and not fall onto the ground," Watson said. "He said he was stuck in the back, he barely got out… It looks like he banged his head off something pretty good."

Crews managed to keep the blaze from spreading to neighbouring properties, but had to spend hours fighting the fire overnight. They remained on scene Friday morning.

The January fire, which began in a pile of old cars, was a challenge for firefighters as well. That blaze broke out during the day, sending huge plumes of black smoke into the air that could be seen from across Metro Vancouver.

Deputy Chief Wilkinson said the investigating into how the latest fire started is just getting underway.

"We'll get insurance people activated. We'll start actually looking into the circumstances surrounding it with any witnesses," he said.

With files from CTV Vancouver's Ben Miljure and Breanna Karstens-Smith