Firefighters will be working for days on four-alarm fire on the south side of Columbus.
At about 4 p.m. Friday, a fire was reported at Columbus Pallet Recycling Company in the 600 block of Marion Road. It is unclear what caused the huge blaze.
Firefighters quickly requested more units to respond to the scene; about one-third of the city fire department ended up on the scene of the four-alarm blaze.”Few and far between do you actually see fires like this in the city of Columbus,” said Columbus Fire Battalion Chief Tracy Smith.
“Nobody’s injured. We have no firefighters injured at this time,” Smith shared, saying workers were safely evacuated from the 20,000-square-foot facility.
“Right now, we’re just worried about containing it with the water and getting it knocked down,” she said.
When it seemed as if firefighters were gaining control, tanks once used to fuel the plant’s fork lifts shot more flames and dark smoke into the sky.
“The fire’s kind of impinged on it and it got to it,” she said. “We can’t cool it fast enough.”
Those tanks fueled the flames and so did the large stacks of cardboard, and newspaper the company baled for recycling.
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Firefighters say plastic material also burned hot and worried that it released toxins into the air. Cardboard bales, plastic pallets, sorting machines and baling machines were among the items burning.
“I don’t want anybody to sit on their porch and watch this event as it’s going on, inhaling that dark deep smoke,” Smith warned.
Multiple explosions were heard, but it was unclear what caused them. The fire department asked some people to leave their homes.
Witnesses said they could see the smoke plume from the fire as far away as Lancaster, Washington Court House, Plain City and Chillicothe.
There have been no injuries reported. About 100 people work in the warehouse.