Monroe County Fire Rescue early Thursday put down a fire inside the city of Key West’s waste transfer station on Rockland Key.
The fire, which was called at 3:17 a.m. at 125 Toppino Industrial Drive, was extinguished just after 5 a.m. with no injuries reported, according to county information officer Cammy Clark.
Firefighting crews from Stock Island, Cudjoe Key and Big Coppitt Key arrived to find heavy smoke inside the building that made it impossible to enter immediately, Clark said. After using fans to push some of the smoke out of the building, crews were able to go inside and locate the fire inside the middle of a large household trash pile.
At the transfer station, waste is separated into household trash, recycling and yard waste.
“It was an exothermic reaction that caused the fire,” said Monroe County Deputy Fire Marshall Craig Marston, who is investigating the incident. “Chemicals mixed with the regular trash.”
An automated sprinkler system operated to keep the fire from spreading, Marston said.
At the time of the fire, there were six bulk haulers in line to haul out debris to the mainland and another eight route trucks in line to bring trash to the transfer station. The fire caused a three-hour delay in the process, Clark said.
Marston said this fire is a good reminder to residents to separate household chemicals from your regular trash.
Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen