The North Las Vegas Fire Department continued to work Monday night to put out a massive fire at a recycling plant that was allegedly started by a poorly discarded flammable item.
North Las Vegas Fire Department spokesman Nino Galloway said the fire started outside the Republic Services recycling facility, located at 360 W. Cheyenne Ave., just after 5 am in “cardboard bales”. It then spread throughout the facility.
In a later update, Galloway said investigators believed the blaze started when a load of recyclables containing a flammable item was dropped into the facility by truck, igniting hundreds of cardboard bales.
“You might have had batteries in there,” Galloway said. “You could have asked someone (who) to put a cigarette in it.”
He said 60 firefighters from North Las Vegas, Las Vegas and Clark County were fighting the blaze, which is expected to continue to burn into the evening.
“We use heavy equipment from Republic Services,” said North Las Vegas Deputy Fire Chief Gary Stover. “They have big front loaders that when they push on the bales, the bands that hold the bales together break and the product comes apart. Then they drag it and pull it apart so that we can get to the fire and keep putting it out.
Stover described the process as “very labor intensive”.
Galloway posted a video of teams working on the department’s Instagram page just before 7 p.m.
In a statement, Republic Services said there were no injuries.
“We are grateful that there were no injuries in this morning’s fire at our recycling center and grateful for the prompt response of local fire departments,” the statement said. “All Republic Services employees in the establishment are unharmed and counted. The cause of the fire is under investigation and we are cooperating with local authorities. “
Michael Stanford lives nearby on Revere Street.
“I woke up and saw the big plumes of smoke spreading over the horizon,” Stanford said. “So I took my bike and wanted to come and see it.”
He cycled to the scene and observed a huge cloud of black smoke rise into the sky. Firefighters were perched on a truck ladder above the fire, spraying the burning cardboard with a constant stream of water.
“It’s kinda crazy. I’ve never seen anything like it, ”he said.
Republic Services fire West Cheyenne pic.twitter.com/vmYAQaC1mZ
– Glenn Puit (@GlennatRJ) September 13, 2021