Firefighters in Abbotsford, B.C. responded to a large fire at an auto recycling business in the city's south end Tuesday.

According to local police, the blaze broke out at Capt'n Crunch Auto Recycling early Tuesday afternoon. The business is located on Vye Road near Riverside Road.

Images from the scene showed a large plume of thick, black smoke rising from the area.

The blaze consumed entire cars, leaving nothing behind but charred shells.

"It was really high towers of smoke and it was a lot of tires being burned as well," said Sheila Scipper, who witnessed the blaze. "You could hear them popping and kind of explosions there—and it smelled like burnt tires."

Some firefighters used ladders to battle the fire from above, while others sprayed water from the ground.

The fire was mostly under control by Tuesday evening.

"We're just going to take our time putting it out," said Assistant Fire Chief Ron Hull. "There's a lot of compressed gasses. Safety first and making sure our guys don't get too tired while we're putting it out."

The owners of Capt'n Crunch told CTV about 30 people work there. The employees will get to keep their jobs because the business intends to stay open as it rebuilds.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Vye Road was closed between McKenzie and Riverside roads. Drivers were being asked to avoid the area.

Toxic chemicals from the fire left an acrid smell in the air, prompting police and firefighters to ask residents within range of the smoke to keep their doors and windows closed.

With files from CTV Vancouver's Ben Miljure