Crews fight flames, smoke, smell in fire at the dump

No one was hurt in fire on Wednesday.
No one was hurt in fire on Wednesday.(Anderley Penwell)
Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 6:30 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - The Rapid City Fire Department responded to a fire at Rapid City Material Recovery Facility Wednesday afternoon.

Upon arriving, firefighters noticed heavy smoke coming from the building and later found there was a fire in the conveyor belts.

More crews and air tanks were called to the scene to clear thick smoke.

Firefighters went through garbage on the conveyor belt to make sure the fire was out and there wasn’t any more hazardous materials. They then ventilated the building to clear the smoke.

Battalion Chief Shawn Barrows said the facility’s high ceilings require elevated equipment and make it difficult to clear the smoke in the room.

“A portion of the processing equipment is about three stories off the ground on the inside of the building and so all the hoses and the equipment to put the fire out had to be elevated up to those levels,” said Barrows. “The building is tall enough where we had a difficult time getting smoke out of the building so that never makes it any easier.”

There were no injuries caused by the fire and RCFD is still unsure of the cause, but they suspect a hazardous piece of garbage on the conveyor belt.

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