It has been three days since the massive four-alarm fire on Marion Road in south Columbus, and firefighters are still trying to determine a cause.
Columbus Division of Fire officer Tracy Smith said the fire at the pallet recycling company appears to have started outside of the building, but an exact cause has not been determined.
Firefighters continue to investigate and conduct interviews, and Smith said it would probably be Wednesday or Thursday before they release a cause of the fire.
Battalion Chief Jack Reall and Captain Tim Moore were among the first to arrive when the blaze started Friday.
“At several points, I knew it was getting ahead of us. Explosions, powerlines arcing,” Reall said.
They started to position their teams, but had to move some.
“We had a couple of instances where we moved trucks back out of the way, and it’s a good thing we did otherwise they would’ve been burned,” Reall said.
After going into defensive mode and working to contain the huge blaze, they started to make some progress.
Eventually, after hours and hours, they had it under.
They worked through the weekend and into Monday putting out hot spots, reviewing what happened, and getting even better for the next huge fire.
“We don’t have a lot of hay bale fires in the city,” Reall said. “They have those in the country. But this is our hay bale, compressed, combustible materials.”
Firefighters continue to put out hotspots on the scene, and are searching items with grappling hooks.
Smith said the scene has not been released back to the owners because of the fear of rekindling.
The Environmental Protection Agency tested water and air samples today.