According to Chief Robert Stoker, fire crews arrived in Fort Pierce Industrial Park just off of 1630 East to find the warehouse and office building full of smoke.
Employees were using a mobile, gas-powered cutoff saw inside the shop to cut what appeared to be copper pipes, Stoker said. Sparks from the saw ignited into flames after they entered nearby barrels full of shooting cartridges and bullet casings turned into the business by a shooting range. Stoker said employees were unaware of the contents of the barrels.
Four sprinkler heads activated and extinguished the fire prior to the crews’ arrival. Stoker said firefighters were able to clear the smoke, turn off the fire suppression system and overhaul the debris and surrounding area to ensure the fire was completely extinguished.
Stoker said all of the sprinklers were not activated because each head has its own temperature gauge.
“Rather than the whole sprinkler system going off, it will only fuse those heads in that area, and those sprinklers will turn on where they will supply water downward toward the water,” he said.
Businesses like Dixie Metal Recycling are required to have sprinkler systems and insulation because of the “hazardous nature of what they do,” Stoker said.
The majority of the shop remained dry, except for the area involved in the fire, which had water on the ground. There was minimal damage to the shop’s ceiling and walls due to the flames.
A Gold Cross Ambulance was available, but no injuries were reported and employees on scene refused medical treatment.