Troy Recycling burns

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 24, 2000

Staff Writer

Troy Recycling Center was annihilated Wednesday afternoon when a raging fire sent many years of hard work up in smoke.

The alarm was called in to the Troy Fire Department at 2:52 p.m., but by the time the first of many fire trucks arrived at the scene, it was too late to save the city-owned structure that was filled with flammable materials including paper, cardboard and other materials.

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It only took minutes for fire to consume the building, as heat began to weaken the walls forcing them to collapse.

Troy Fire Chief Ray Rhodes said the call was received minutes after employees left at 2:30 p.m., and said no one was believed to have been in the building when the fire started.

"The fire inspector was the first person here and he said it was burning from one end to the other," Rhodes said.

Firefighters weren’t able to get near the structure due to heat until almost 4 p.m.

The cause of the blaze is under investigation. Because the building must cool first, investigators will not be able to enter the building until Thursday afternoon, at the earliest.

Those first on the scene reported the heaviest concentration of fire was in the front of the building near the door.

As the tin walls folded in on the paper and other items inside, Bill Rice watched the center he managed and helped create go up in flames.

Problems with the nearest fire hydrant left firefighters helpless for a while, but Rice said he didn’t think anything would have helped.

"The lack of water didn’t have anything to do with it," Rice said of the total loss. "I was one of the first people here at 10 minutes to three and it was gone."

Rice also remarked he hopes "the people of Troy remember what they did before recycling," because it will take time before the program can start again.

Rice said the building contained "thousands of pounds" of paper, which contributed to the fire’s rapid consumption of it.

According to reports, the fire was first noticed by someone quite some distance from the building who noticed smoke.

There were vehicles inside the building, and upon arrival some people noted that one of the trucks was burning inside the bay doors.

Troy City Clerk Alton Starling said the council will have to look at options regarding the recycling program. He said there are places available to store the items, but the machinery that compresses boxes and paper was lost in the fire.

In addition to four units from Troy, two trucks from the Springhill Volunteer Fire Department, one truck from Goshen and another from Henderson responded to the blaze.