A small fire started in the plastics bunker at the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) Friday evening around 6:15 pm. Smoke and some flame were able to reach the presort room above the bunkers via the discharge chutes. The heat triggered only four sprinkler heads, two in the pre-sort room and two above the plastics bunker. This helped limit the fire and the Escambia County Fire Department quickly contained it when they arrived. The machinery had been off since 1:30 pm Friday and there is no machinery or electrical equipment in this bunker area, so the source of the fire is not likely anything related to equipment. Due to the mass of melted plastics in the bunker, we were unable to confirm what materials in the plastics bunker caused the fire. This serves as a reminder to our customers that only accepted materials should be placed in their recycling container.
A very preliminary review of the area shows limited damage to one wall in the presort room, some lighting fixtures, and ceiling tiles in the pre-sort room. Our fire service contractor is replacing the four sprinkler heads today while ECUA staff will replace the fixtures, check wiring in this area, and inspect the belt to confirm that there was no damage.
At this point, we are cautiously optimistic that normal operations will be able to resume Monday and will confirm that after the inspections are completed.
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