Contact: Battalion Chief Steven Sapp
(573) 499-7035 Media Pager
The Columbia Fire Department was dispatched to a report of a commercial structure fire at Civic Recycling located at 3300 Brown Station Road at 5:41 am on Friday, April 12, 2012.
Public Safety Joint Communications advised responding fire units that a passing motorist reported smoke coming from one of the buildings in the complex.
Fire units arrived at 5:47 am and reported light smoke showing from the main building which sorts paper and cardboard products and plastic products.
Fire fighters also heard the sound of a automatic fire sprinkler alarm sounding and noted that the automatic fire sprinkler system had activated and was holding the fire in-check in the north-east corner of the building. Crews stretched a couple of hand-lines and with the assistance of Civic Recycling employee's, used a front end loaded to break apart the piles of paper products and extinguish a little remaining fire.
Civic Recycling has been the scene of a couple of multi-million dollar fire loses, one occurring in 1998 caused when juveniles shooting off fireworks in a open area to the north of the plant set paper and cardboard products on fire; and one in June of 2001 which was ruled as an incendiary fire. No arrests were made in the 2001 incident.
In 2003, Civic Recycling installed an Automatic Fire Sprinkler System to protect the building. Today's fire was proof that automatic fire sprinkler systems work and are a valuable asset to the property owner and the community. The previous large loss fires in 1998 and 2001 used millions of gallons of water to extinguish and a large contingent of fire department resources were tied up for hours battling the blazes. Today's fire was quickly controlled by the automatic fire sprinkler which used only several hundreds of gallons of water, and fire crews were all released by 8:30 am.
The cause of the fire is under investigation and a damage estimate is not available currently. No injuries were reported. Three engines, one ladder, one rescue squad, and two incident command vehicles were originally dispatched to the fire.