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Old recycling plant in Iowa still burning

Posted on by SST

A fire at a former recycling plant on the south side of Des Moines, Iowa, continued to burn into a second day Aug. 30.

Flames erupted from the 50,000-square-foot facility around 6 p.m. the night before and the recycling building products inside the warehouse made extinguishing the fire more difficult for emergency crews, the Des Moines Register reported. The high temperatures and humidity also made their efforts more challenging. Six fire engines, five ladder trucks and dive media squads responded to the fire. The nearby communities of Altoona, Ankeny, Norwalk, Pleasant Hill and West Des Moines aided in combating the fire.

Des Moines Fire Inspector Ted Jefferson told the Register isn't common the city needs to ask for help.

"It's extremely rare," he said. "It was the sheer size of the fire. On top of that, other things were going on at the same time. Other calls going out stressed our resources."

Firefighters stayed mostly outside the structure as fears about the structural integrity of the old warehouse kept crews from entering, the article stated.

As of the afternoon of Aug. 30, six firefighters have been injured while combating the fire. One was taken to a nearby hospital where he was treated and later released.

Sources said the cause of the fire remains unknown. 

The recycling plant has not been occupied for three years, ABC affiliate WOI-DT reported. Crews responded to a fire last year at the plant. It was not clear if the facility had a working fire alarm system.

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