A massive fire tore through a recycling warehouse in Fredericton Wednesday.

The fire erupted around the noon hour and raged late into the afternoon. Black smoke could be seen for several kilometres around the Fredericton area.

“They're trying to keep this fire from entering the building to my left, my immediate left, where the expensive baling equipment and the sorting equipment is,” says Insp. Cameron Dunn of the Fredericton Fire Department. “So, right now, this building is sort of being left and they're using a high-hoe, or a back-hoe, to take the buildings apart and keep the fire from moving further down.”

The warehouse, one of almost a dozen buildings on the Fredericton Solid Waste Commission property, held large bales of cardboard, paper and plastics collected as part of blue-box programs. The materials were destined for overseas markets.

“They were just laying in wait,” says Brad Janes of the Fredericton Region Solid Waste Commission. “They would've been earmarked for somewhere and those are calls we're going to have to make Monday.”

Dozens of fire-fighters from three departments were called to this scene.

With no water supply, trucks carried water to the warehouse from the closest hydrants, about a kilometre away.

Firefighters expect to be there well into the night, maybe even into the new year.

“Once we get our water flow more established and some more vehicles here, I think we'll be able to knock it down relatively quickly,” says Dunn. “The high-hoe will start breaking stuff apart and that's where you can actually get water on to the deeper seated fire and stuff.”

This isn't the first major fire at the landfill. Officials say fire is an inherent risk.

“It's not a word that we treat lightly around here and when it happens…it's disappointing. We all work here, it's part of our building, people have their lunchrooms in there, their personal supplies, so it's a part of what we do out here, but nobody wants to see it,” says Janes.

While the building and everything inside were lost, no one was injured.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Andy Campbell