The Kimberley Fire Department had the scrap pile fire near Columbia Recycle in Marysville under control by 2 p.m. Saturday and completely extinguished by 6 p.m., says Kimberley Fire Chief Al Collinson.
The fire, which sent a huge plume of noxious smoke over Marysville and caused Highway 95A to be closed due to poor visibility and fumes, was called in just around 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning.
Chief Collinson said it was the scrap pile that burned and finding a cause is tough.
“It was all scrap material, car parts, we saw mattress springs. What was burning would be plastic and styrofoam. All oil is drained out of the car parts before they are put on the pile. Once we had it under control we used excavators to break up the pile.”
Due to the smoke, Collinson says he notified nearby businesses such as the car dealerships and Bootleg Gap Golf Course to keep staff and patrons inside.
As for what happened, Collinson says witnesses heard a “pop” like a small explosion. An operator was working on the pile at the time and Collinson says it could just have been sparks that started the fire.
“The operator tried grabbing the part of the pile that was burning, but he couldn’t, so he called it in. I have pretty much concluded that the cause is undeterminable. It’s tough to say what started it. It could have been a spark or anything.”
He says the Office of the Fire Commissioner has been notified but the investigation has likely ended.
The Kimberley Fire Department responded with 23 members and two engines, as well as support vehicles.
“We were completely finished by 6 p.m. and we left an engine and crew overnight to watch for hot spots.”