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Fire At Recycling Plant Sends Smoke Billowing For Miles

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Crews on the scene of a fire at Materials Recovery Facility in Southfield. (WWJ/Stephanie Davis)

Crews on the scene of a fire at Materials Recovery Facility in Southfield. (WWJ/Stephanie Davis)

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SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) – A fire at a recycling plant on Eight Mile in Southfield filled the sky with smoke Tuesday afternoon.

A 50,000 square foot building operated by Materials Recovery Facility, a large recycling plant for mostly paper and plastic, sustained considerable damage due to the fire.

Steven Knowles is operations manager and told WWJ’s Stephanie Davis the fire started on a conveyor belt – when some material got jammed up in a wheel.

“It was on an incline – the material goes on an incline and get dropped off and gets sorted and somehow, somewhere something sparked up – a fire and newspaper and cardboard,” said Knowles.

He said about 40 employees evacuated the building safely and there were no injuries at the site.

Fire Captain Bill Johns was asked about the air quality in the surrounding area:

These are normal air toxins he told WWJ, but “we don’t want people to breathe this so close your windows so you don’t smell it and breathe it …”

At one point fire officials asked nearby residents to keep windows closed and turn off air conditioners but residents were not asked to leave their homes.


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