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Materials, heat make west Edmonton industrial fire difficult

Click to play video: 'Fire at Edmonton recycling plant difficult for crews to tackle'
Fire at Edmonton recycling plant difficult for crews to tackle
WATCH: A recycling facility that caught fire in west Edmonton proved to be incredibly grueling for firefighters Thursday night. As Morgan Black reports, the weather made things even more difficult. – Aug 25, 2022

Thick, black plumes of smoke could be seen rising from an industrial area near 199 Street and 113 Avenue N.W. Thursday afternoon.

Edmonton Fire Rescue Services says it received a call just before 3 p.m. about a fire at a plastics recycling plant.

The fire at a plastics recycling plant required dozens of firefighters and trucks Aug. 25, 2022. Global News

At one point, 49 firefighters and 13 trucks were on scene, working to get the fire under control at several buildings. A roof collapsed at one of them, but nobody was hurt.

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Firefighters appeared to be trying to stop the flames from spreading to nearby trees and brush.

District fire chief Brian Mihailides says they quickly had to assess the situation, given the material that was burning.

“There were a lot of unknowns. We’re trying to get a hold of what toxins we’re dealing with, how many hazardous materials we’re dealing with in the building,” said Mihailides.

He confirmed there were no injuries.

Alberta Environment is monitoring the situation as plastics were burning.

“We have offered to provide air monitoring and others supports, if needed,” an Alberta Environment spokesperson told Global News on Friday morning.

“The recycling facility contained cardboard, plastics and paper that caught on fire.

“Currently, the fire department is actively working with the company to identify materials and extinguish the remaining hot spots.”

Firefighters were also routinely rotated and monitored because of the hot weather.

“They’ll go in, monitor each other,” Mihailides said. “They’ll have an hour and a half on scene and then they get rotated out because of the heat. They have water, we have rehab sector, that’s all taken care of.”

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The fire was declared out late Friday morning.

The cause has not yet been determined.

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