Huge fire at Ontario recycling plant sends massive smoke plume skyward

A three-alarm fire Friday at an Ontario cardboard recycler sent huge plumes of smoke billowing skyward, closed nearby streets and shut down rail traffic through the area, officials said.

The blaze was reported at 4:23 p.m. at State Street and Bon View Avenue, the site of a business that also stores wooden pallets, said Deputy Chief Art Andres of the Ontario Fire Department. The area is a mostly commercial zone of the city.

Andres did not know the name of the business, and the cause of the fire had not been determined Friday evening.

One person was found unresponsive near the blaze, but it was unclear if the injury was caused by the fire, Andres said.

The fire was contained by 7 p.m., but was expected to burn for some time because of the difficulty in extinguishing the large, tightly packed bundles of cardboard that fueled it, Andres said. Bulldozers were being brought in to break up the burning bundles, he said.

Officials had yet to assess damage to surrounding buildings, utility poles and vehicles.

“There are a few homes in that area, but none were damaged enough to require people to relocate,” Andres said.

Freight service through the area was halted as a precaution, Andres said, because of the potential damage to rail cars from the heat of the blaze. Local authorities were consulting with rail officials Friday night about reopening the lines, he said.

 

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