Tricky fire smolders at Toledo recycling plant

A fire broke out at Stickney Recycling plant before 5 a.m. on Oct. 25, 2012.

A smoldering fire at Stickney Recycling plant will keep Toledo fire crews busy today as they put it out, layer by layer.

Lt. Matt Hertzfeld said a passerby reported seeing smoke in the area around 4:22 a.m. When crews arrived, they discovered a fire in one of the recycling bins.

While the fire produced enough smoke to stifle the air, Lt. Hertzfeld said it wasn't a major fire, just tedious and difficult to extinguish.

"It's a tough fire because it is a dump and it is buried," he said. "As that fire continues to burn, it burrows in, so it becomes a tedious and arduous process to do this."

Crews brought in a special sludge with high water content to stop the fire from burning deeper into the pit. But Lt. Hertzfeld said it would take firefighters most of the day to fully extinguish the flames.

According to Stickney Recycling's website, the plant accepts construction and demolition debris, asbestos, tires and yard waste. Lt. Hertzfeld said the asbestos bins were located on the opposite side from where the fire occured, so the department didn't anticipate any public health concerns. The EPA was called to the scene to monitor air quality as a precaution.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but Lt. Hertzfled speculated that it could've been spontaneous due to the amount of debris and dumping in the pit.

Stickney Recycling is located at 4425 Creekside Avenue.