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Two recycling plants up in smoke

Posted on by SST

Recycling facilities in two states experienced fires at their plants hours apart from late Monday, October 21, night into early Tuesday morning, October 22, reported a local Arizona ABC 15 affiliate and News 12 in Long Island.

Arizona fire
The first fire occurred late Monday night at a recycling plant located between Deer Valley road and 195th Ave. in Surprise, Ariz. when material from the plant was accidentally sent through a conveyor belt and was thrust into a compactor, said Autry Cheatham with the Surprise Fire Department. A compactor is a powerful machine used to reduce the size of waste for easy disposal.

According to ABC, there was "no structural damage" to the plant and "all employees made it out safely," however the cause of the fire is still unclear.

New Jersey fire
Around 2 a.m. Tuesday October 22 a fire was starting at another recycling facility located on Emjay Blvd. in Brentwood, N.J., that as of 12:30 p.m. has not been extinguished, according to Newsday. It has been reported that as of the afternoon, emergency workers continue to deploy fire suppression techniques and are still tearing apart debris and have already fought the fire for over 10 hours. However, the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Although originally it was reported there were no known injuries, Newsday later disclosed that a worker and a firefighter were both transferred to local area hospitals with injuries believed to be non-life threatening. It is unclear how the injuries were sustained. 

News 12 described the scene as a virtual fire ball with flames spreading quickly throughout the plant. Firefighters have been using heavy machinery to break apart rubble in an effort to search for and put out hot spots of remaining fire. Emergency responders and volunteer firefighters from nine bordering communities were dispatched to the scene, although the agency of the injured firefighter has not yet been released. 

A history of hazard
In August, another N.J. recycling plant, the Sims Metal Management facility on Linden Avenue in Jersey City, caught fire for the third time within a three year span. Similarly, the fire burned for over 12 hours while firefighters worked with mechanisms to break apart the debris and put out remaining fire, The New Jersey Journal reported.

Bob McHugh, spokesperson for the Jersey City fire department stated the Coast Guard discovered the blaze after seeing flames atop a pile of scrap metal, producing dark smoke and alerted the Sims company, who attempted to put out the fire themselves before calling 911.

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