A towering column of smoke caught the eye of many around Commerce City Thursday afternoon as piles of trash burned at a Waste Management facility near Interstate 270.

Firefighters took several hours, but have since got the blaze under control. The fire quickly spread through large piles of trash after the blaze began around 4 p.m.

The fire eventually spread to a building at the facility and Waste Management says everyone was able to make it out safely and without injury.

Plenty of onlookers took time out of their day to look at the spectacle, which was something; flames licked the sky and smoke clouded the area.

A former Adams County firefighter stopped to check out the fire. He says he was surprised to learn a fire billowing black smoke was mostly made of trash.

"As soon as I saw the smoke burning from the home it was black, it was real black," he says, "and I didn't think it would be trash burning black smoke but there's a lot of stuff there and nobody knows what it was."

South Adams County firefighters led the fight against the trash fire. The chief says a load of garbage dropped off earlier in the day may have been smoldering and just caught nearby trash on fire. The exact cause has not been officially reported.

Crews continue to battle hot spots.