Recycled metal catches fire behind Rocky Mountain Recycling in St. George

ST. GEORGE — A fire burning in the lot behind Rocky Mountain Recycling was quickly extinguished by St. George Fire Department personnel Monday afternoon.

On scene, a plume of grey and black smoke drifted out of the scrap metal piled up in the rear lot of the recycling facility located near the 100 block of 1080 East in St. George. The acrid smell was noticeable a block away. 

A stream of water jets into a burning pile of scrap metal behind Rocky Mountain Recycling Monday, St. George, Utah, April 19, 2021 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

Chief Robert Stoker told St. George News that the call came at approximately 1:30 p.m. Gold Cross Ambulance and St. George Police crews also responded to the scene.

“We’ve had several fires here before, prior, over the years,” Stoker said. “Upon our arrival we found a large pile of recycled metal that had been crushed on fire. We’ve been able to knock that down and contain it.”

A fire engine about 100 feet away doused the burning metal with a water cannon while a tractor in the lot moved other scrap metal and debris out of the way.

Chief Stoker said there were some potential problems with the fire approaching local businesses, and it was important to keep the flames away from nearby propane tanks. The fire was contained and did not spread to those areas.

“Currently we have five engines and our heavy rescue on scene,” Stoker said. “We responded with several apparatus, and we’ll probably be here another couple of hours just trying to get to the seat of the fire.”

A loader was working with the metal pile and it’s possible a spark came from that and started the blaze, but there was no known official cause at the time, he said.

A pile of scrap medal smolders in the lot behind Rocky Mountain Recycling Monday, April 19, 2021 | Photo by E. George Goold St. George News

“We’ll talk to the staff here at the recycling center and see what they saw when it first started, see if we can find an origin and cause,” Stoker said. “Currently it looks like an accidental fire with relatively no damage.”

Ambulances typically respond to structure fires and larger brush fires, but there were no injuries to report on Monday afternoon.

“This time of year when we get going into our summer season we tend to have heat related injuries, so we will have medical on standby at all of our major calls,” Stoker said.

This report is based on information provided by law enforcement and may not contain the full scope of findings.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!