Fire Claims Hazelwood Recycling Facility
The Hazelwood Fire Department, along with several other area fire districts fought a fire at Republic Services, a recycling center located in an industrial part of Hazelwood. Cause is said to be unknown.
The Hazelwood Fire Department, along with Robertson Fire Protection District, and fire districts including Florissant, Pattonville, Ferguson, and Berkeley fought a fire at a recycling plant begining around 3 p.m.
Hazelwood Fire Chief Dave Radel sounded three alarms bringing in three aerial trucks and extra man power because of 90-degree temperatures on Saturday.
The biggest concern was ensuring the fire didn't spread next door to AmeriGas propane company.
Mounds of trash piled around the recycling center are said to be what fueled the fire. As of Saturday night no cause had been found for the fire.
According to Hazelwood Police, by the time firefighters reached the scene the flames had spread to the north side of the recycling plant and some oil drums on site were swelling from the heat.
Tim Moloney, the district manager for AmeriGas Company, said he had 40,000 gallons stored at his location.
Radel brought in a front loader from the Hazelwood Public Works Department to help sort through the trash as firefighters looked for hot spots.
The facility had combustible material stored around the outside of the sorting sheds which have sprinkler systems, according to Radel.
When the company approached Hazelwood City Council for a land use permit in August of last year which included the outdoor storage, facility manager Mike Dulin explained all material is stored in open space with some covered via sheds.
"Paper sorting is done inside," he said at that time. "In order to control litter, three-high jersey blocks and a fence were installed around the facility. In addition, a full-time groundskeeper blows the litter back to the plant, but the facility doesn’t have a front or back wall."
He also said all areas covered and uncovered have sprinkler systems, at which time Council approved the permit. The facility has 66 employees and does over-the-road trucking, sorting of materials, storage, bailing, warehousing, and general operations. The Hazelwood facility handles large bulky items and all residential recycling goes to the company’s south-side facility.