Crews battle blaze at recycling facility

South Carolina News

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WJBF) – North Augusta fire crews are battling a blaze at the city’s material recovery facility.

“These things, these trash piles happen,” said Lt. Tim Thornton, the public information officer with North Augusta Public Safety.

Fire crews in North Augusta are spending their Thanksgiving night containing this fire out at the Material Recovery Facility.

“What were dealing with is a big trash pile, and every time we move it, it kind of stimulates and stirs up the fire and allows oxygen into the bottom part of the trash pile which just stirs up the fire a little bit more, but we’ll have someone here all night as long as it takes to put the fire out to the point where we know it’s out,” he said.

Lt. Thornton with North Augusta Public Safety, says that the call first came in around 5 pm Thursday evening. While investigators are still trying to find the exact cause of the fire, they don’t believe it was intentional.

“In all likelihood it was the chemical reaction of the trash pile that just ignited the fire, there’s no evidence at this point to expect foul play it’s just the chemical reaction and the characteristics of fire,” said Lt. Thornton.

And Thornton says this is not the first time this has happened. City leaders say the nearly 30-year-old building is where refuse is dumped after pick up. It’s then separated for landfill and recycling.

Lt. Thornton says, “This was a double collection day, Wednesday before the holiday, so this was not trash that was brought in today.”

No one was working at the facility on Thursday and no parts of the building were damaged. So far there’s no talk of any disruption in the normal trash pick-up services.

“Where they take it, it depends on how well they get this cleared out, but the fire department is on the scene taking care of it, there’s no need for alarm within the city, we’re here doing what were supposed to do so it’s all good,” said Lt. Thornton.

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