Three-alarm blaze damages recycling plant in North Las Vegas - 8 News NOW

Three-alarm blaze damages recycling plant in North Las Vegas

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Photo credit: Tommy Geraci Photo credit: Tommy Geraci
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Lawrence Craig Lawrence Craig
NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- A three-alarm blaze damaged a recycling plant in North Las Vegas Monday evening.

According to the North Las Vegas Fire Department, employees at the Republic Services plant on Gowan Road near Commerce Street called to report the fire at around 5:45 p.m. When firefighters arrived, they immediately called for a second alarm because of the 50-foot wall of flames they encountered and the billowing black smoke that could be seen as far away as Henderson.

"I could see the fire from my office window. I was able to call my general manager and he was able to tell me everyone was safe and accounted for," area president for Republic Services Tim Powell said.

Fire crews called for a third alarm at around 6:15 p.m. The hot, dry 30 mile-per-hour winds were driving the flames. 

"Often times the fire isn't the biggest issue, it is mother nature. It's hot, it's windy, it's a large facility with a lot of product within the facility itself," North Las Vegas Fire Capt. Cedric Williams said.

More than 100 firefighters from North Las Vegas, Clark County Fire and Las Vegas Fire & Rescue worked to put out the fire that was consuming bundles of cardboard and plastic.

"Those bails themselves have to be torn apart, so we can get to what is the called the deep-seeded components of the fire. You don't just put the fire out on top, you have to tear it apart and get inside of it," Capt. Williams said.

It took them about one hour and 45 minutes to finally extinguish the fire. Besides the bundles of recycling, the fire also damaged a lamp post and mechanical equipment.

The plant was evacuated before the fire crews even arrived and no one was hurt. 

The damage estimates are unknown.  Republic Services tells 8 News NOW that the fire will not impact recycling or garbage pickup for Tuesday.

"It is not going to disrupt our service that we provide our customers. Obviously, internally, it is disruptive because we need to make other plans. But we have a secondary facility that we can process in," Powell said.

Fire investigators say the fire started out in the area known as the yard by some sort of machinery. It has been ruled an accident. However, they say they'll have to check the facility to make sure it's safe before they let employees back in.

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