As the sun rose Wednesday, Raleigh, NC, firefighters remained on the scene of a fire that broke out at midday Tuesday in bundles of recycled materials inside a warehouse on Blount Street.
Police reopened the street about 6 a.m. after firefighters were able to move their trucks out of the travel lanes, but the work of pulling apart bundles and extinguishing burning materials kept firefighters at the scene.
Workers were evacuated after a fire was reported at 12:12 p.m. at Recycling Management Services at 1505 S. Blount St., just north of City Farm Road. The fire involved recyclable materials, but it was unclear what kind of material was involved.
Fire inspectors said the stubborn, smoky fire was not obvious when the first engine arrived, but it spread quickly and eventually brought about 80 firefigthers to the scene after a second alarm was sounded.
The fire was declared under control just before 5 p.m.
An employee at the company’s High Point location said about 25 employees work at the Raleigh warehouse, and about 12-13 employees work each shift. No employee injuries had been reported.
Firefighters were working in heavy smoke inside the warehouse to put out the burning material. Gray smoke poured from the building, but no flames were visible.
Several fire engines and ladder trucks arrived at the scene to relieve firefighters who were already inside the building.
Police blocked traffic from the area, which affected a transportation company across the street from the fire. Fire trucks lined the street in front of the warehouse and firefighters were going in and out carrying hand tools to break up the burning bundles of recyclables so they could put out the fire.
Because of the heavy smoke, firefighters came in and out of the warehouse to switch air tanks.
Emergency Medical Services sent several ambulances and supervisors to the fire as a precaution due to the smoke.
According to its website, Recycling Management Services “is a plant based recycling group focused on maximizing its client’s revenue generation from recyclable paper, plastic and metal scrap.”
The company has locations in four states, including North Carolina.
The Blount Street building – a one-story cinder block warehouse on a two-acre lot – was erected in 1960 and expanded in 1973. The tax value of the land and building were listed at $955,000 according to county records. Records show the building had a sprinkler system.
The building is owned by Coggins Construction Co., based at 3939 Glenwood Avenue, according to the records. The property previously belonged to Lyon Equipment Co., which transferred it to Coggins in 1981.