Ames, IA – Sprinkler system activated at Resource Recovery plant

The Ames Fire Department responded to a fire on Friday morning at the Resource Recovery refuse derived fuel (RDF) bin, located at the corner of East Third Street and East Avenue.

An Ames electric services employee saw smoke and fire coming from the top of the bin and contacted emergency services. Fire crews arrived and extinguished the fire within the bin. Crews remained onsite on Friday to assist with clean up and to monitor hot spots. No injuries were reported.

While the cause of the fire hadn’t been determined Friday, it was reported by electric service employees that the fire was on top of the bin, meaning there was likely a hot material that was transferred to the RDF bin. Materials are transferred to the bin from items dropped off at Resource Recovery System, such as batteries, car tires, hazardous waste and other chemicals.

Paul Sandoval, Ames Deputy Fire Chief, said it does not appear the fire was caused by a mechanical issue.

Sprinkler systems within the bin were activated when the fire started. According to Ames Electrical Services Director Don Kom, the fire department was contacted for additional water and to completely soak the bin. At this time, known damage includes electrical components within the bin, according to Sandoval. Other possible damage is still being investigated.

“We’re now going back in and checking systems to see what’s working and not working. We are making sure that beyond the electrical system, the equipment — especially the augers — are functioning. It will just take us a little while to work through that process,” Kom said in a news release.

Electric services employees were assessing the damage on Friday.

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