Crews still working to put out weekend fire at recycling plant in Auburn

Updated: Oct. 14, 2019 at 6:18 PM EDT
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AUBURN, Ala. (WTVM) - It took several hours for firefighters to extinguish the flames early Sunday morning at the Sand Hill Recycling Plant in Auburn.

Monday, the Southwest Lee County Volunteer Fire Department said it’s mostly just some hot spots still in the pile of debris, but they’re checking it regularly to make sure the fire is out for good.

Crews from the recycling plant, which sits on US 29, worked on-site Monday, dousing the piles of rubble with water.

“These guys have done a good job with their heavy equipment and their water trucks just making sure everything is put out and it doesn’t spread or reignite,” said Lt. Tom Peavy of the Southwest Lee County Fire Department.

One resident said he’s seen a fire there multiple times over the years.

“It catches fire from time to time,” Terry Buford, who lives across the street, said. “This was the worst fire they’ve had since I’ve been here. It was burning when I got up yesterday morning, it was burning when I went to bed last night.”

Lt. Peavy said it took several hours for firefighters to put out the flames.

“Whenever you have a big pile of material like that, the fire, even if it starts on the outside, it gets inside that pile and can burn really deep,” he said.

Officials said they’re still investigating the cause.

“This apparently was a construction debris fire,” Peavy said. “It’s undetermined what caused it. But we’ve been out here before. It’s not uncommon for there to be fire at these recycling plants.”

But it left some people who live in area worried.

“All the smoke coming this way and all the harmful stuff also,” Buford said.

Peavy said there’s no cause for concern.

“It’s going to be kind of a nasty smoke just because of the nature of something burning like that," he said. "But there’s no hazardous materials. No danger to residents in the area.”

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