Local News

2-alarm fire at Durham recycling center draws more than 60 firefighters

Posted April 29, 2021 5:07 p.m. EDT
Updated April 30, 2021 4:46 a.m. EDT

— An auto recycling center went up in flames on Thursday afternoon, sending smoke billowing into the air and into surrounding neighborhoods.

According to officials, nobody has been hurt.

The fire broke out at Foss Recycling at 1915 Riddle Road. Smoke could be seen from a distance, aided by strong wind gusts. The plant is about 300 feet by 300 feet, and 25-30 feet tall. This is also presenting a major challenge.

Officials said It took six hours to get flames under control. On Friday morning, part of Riddle Road was still closed as a hose stretched across the street. Fire crews were still at the scene.

"The wind is not helping right now," Durham Deputy Fire Chief Christopher Iannuzzi said. "It's driving that fire deeper into the pile. We're using some heavy equipment to try and pull it apart. We have to pull the pile apart to get to the fire. We've never had a pile this big, that I can recall."

Iannuzzi said the fire department has units in place to protect surrounding neighborhoods, in case the blaze breaks containment.

Sixty firefighters were on the scene as of 5:30 p.m. Iannuzzi says the firefighters are being rotated for safety precautions, because of the temperatures.

"That smoke is not letting up as much as we wish it would right now," Iannuzzi said.

There is no word on how it started.

"A lot of water, a lot of people, and a lot of wind making it worse," he said. "We're going to be here a while."

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