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Two-alarm blaze at Redwood City recycling facility
December 18, 2013, 05:00 AM Staff and wire reports

Photo courtesy of the Redwood City Fire Department
The fire that broke out at a Redwood City metal recycling plant yesterday was the second at the facility in six weeks.

A two-alarm fire broke out at a Redwood City metal recycling plant early Tuesday morning, the second such blaze in six weeks at the facility which led to reports of smoke and burning plastic reported as far south as Mountain View, according to a fire marshal.

By midmorning, firefighters had the fire at Sims Metal Management under control and officials lifted a shelter-in-place implemented as a precaution.

The fire at 699 Seaport Blvd. started following the sound of a small explosion reported by plant workers at about 12:50 a.m.,

Redwood City Fire Marshal Jim Palisi said.

The fire started in a stockpile of “light iron” recyclables, such as discarded appliances, Palisi said.

Embers ignited a second smaller spot fire that was quickly extinguished, he said.

The primary blaze, which sent a large plume of smoke into the air, burned for more than eight hours before being controlled as of about 9:45 a.m., Palisi said.

No injuries were reported, he said.

Officials were advising any residents in the area who smell smoke to stay indoors with their windows closed, though the advisory was only issued as a precaution, Palisi said.

“The shelter-in-place was issued as an advisory, not a warning,” he said.

Seaport Boulevard reopened at about 8 a.m. after being closed for more than seven hours, although public access to the recycling facility

remained closed.

On Nov. 10, a fire at the same facility burned in a pile of heavy recyclables and took more than seven hours to control.

Sims Metal Management issued a statement Tuesday morning promising to investigate the cause, including sources of the material in the stockpile.

“No cause has yet been ruled out,” the statement said.

The company said the timing of the two fires a month apart “raises concerns” and said new policies were implemented after last month’s blaze, including reducing stockpile sizes and separating light iron from auto bodies.



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