- A three-alarm fire broke out at a recycling facility in Everett, Washington on Saturday evening and wasn't extinguished until Monday. More than 100 firefighters from around the region came to battle the blaze.
- The cause is still under investigation, though officials said that wood pallets, mulch, plastic and other recyclable materials helped fuel the fire.
- Crews responded to two smaller fires last week, one of which destroyed a portion of the building's sprinkler system. Because of this the fire marshal ordered a temporary fire watch requiring someone to be in the building at all times. The person on duty left Saturday night and that's when the fire began.
The site has a troubled history with the city and was formerly occupied by Busy Beaver Recycling. The county found a variety of permitting issues and violations, ultimately forcing the company to shut down in 2014.
According to Q13 Fox, the site is now occupied by a company called e Strategies. Ironically, officials had scheduled a meeting for Monday to talk about better ways to reduce fire hazards. The damage is estimated to be more than $1 million.
Fire hazards are a serious issue at recycling facilities, especially when various materials are stored throughout the site. A metal recycler in Albuquerque, NM recently experienced a large fire — its 11th in the past 10 years — due to improper maintenance of scrap piles. In addition to costing businesses money, these incidents also place a burden on local fire departments and can release potentially hazardous chemicals into the air.