Two buildings destroyed in rubber recycling plant fire
Saskatoon tire recycler tor resume business as soon as possible.
SASKATOON — The fight to contain a fire that was burning through a rubber tire recycling business in Saskatoon wound down with two buildings destroyed.
Assistant chief Dave Bykowy of the Saskatoon Fire Department said two of three buildings in Shercom Industries complex were destroyed but firefighters were able to save the third building.
He said there was one “stubborn” spot of fire involving 80 barrels of polyurethene that would keep a smaller contingent of firefighters working through the night April 5 and into the following morning.
Smoke containing suspected toxic fumes had been billowing from the site since the fire was reported early April 4 in the evening.
“We were really fortunate in that we had a pretty strong wind and it was blowing it right in between two cities – Martensville to the north, and Saskatoon,” said Bykowky. “It was right in there for most of the night, and because of the strength of the wind it dissipated that smoke rather quickly.”
Air was monitored for toxic fumes and crews battling the fire wore oxygen breathing equipment to protect themselves, the deputy chief added.
The Saskatchewan Environment Ministry was testing the smoke to determine the health risk.
The fire was being fuelled by tonnes of shredded rubber and chemicals used in recycling.
No injuries were reported. About 80 people work at the facility.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Crews from the Warman and Martensville fire departments were also fighting the blaze.
Shercom’s website says its plant is a world-class, fully integrated tire recycler that makes rubber products.
The company estimates that people in Saskatchewan dispose of more than one million scrap tires every year and that Shercom collects tires from dealers across the province.
Shercom president Shane Olson thanked first responders for fighting the fire and said the company will do what it can to keep its employees working.
“We are obviously saddened and frustrated,” Olson said in a statement. “It is, however, only a setback and we remain committed to resuming business as usual as soon as possible.”
© 2016 The Canadian Press