A fire that erupted in a pile of cardboard at City Carton on Thursday destroyed a pair of semi-trailers, a portion of an exterior wall and equipment, an official with the Davenport-based recycling company said.

The fire started about 10:30 a.m. in an outside shipping dock area of the business at 4002 Kimmel Drive, vice president of operations Daryl Russ said.

Stacks of cardboard were waiting to be compressed into bales to be shipped out when an unknown source in one of the stacks caught fire.

"There was definitely something in there that ignited," Russ said.

Russ said no one was injured.

City Carton opened in 1967 and built the facility on Davenport's west end in 2000, Russ said.

Davenport Fire Marshal Mike Hayman said the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Hayman said the fire spread rapidly and smoke could be seen from the Davenport Fire Department's Central Station.

Firefighters were able to confine the fire to the outside of the facility. After initially extinguishing the main fire, it took firefighters up to two hours to put out hot spots in piles of cardboard outside the shipping dock.

Around noon, several Bobcats were hauling and pushing cardboard away from the facility as firefighters sprayed into a large pile of burnt cardboard and debris to extinguish hot spots.

Hayman said the fire department rotated crews during the two hours due to the heat. Around noon the temperature was in the upper 80s.

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