Sims Metal Management recycling plant faces questions after fire

Chopper 12 was overhead a fire at Sims Metal Management recycling plant in Jersey City.

Chopper 12 was overhead a fire at Sims Metal Management recycling plant in Jersey City. (8/20/13)

JERSEY CITY - Owners of a recycling plant in Jersey City will face tough questions after a fire ripped through a scrap yard overnight.

The fire broke out at the Sims Metal Management Claremont Terminal on Linden Avenue East at around 10 p.m. yesterday and could be seen for miles, but plant officials are accused of putting off a call to the fire department.

Mayor Steven Fulop says, "This was probably a situation where they tried to deal with it themselves, and it probably got out of hand."

A spokesman for the company says the fire was concentrated in a stockpile in a scrap metal receiving area.

The company said in a statement that workers promptly called 911, and that although employees began to hose down the fire, they never intended to fight it on their own.

Fulop says the city is investigating how the fire got out of hand and expects the company to face fines.

Facility crews worked with firefighters by using cranes to remove material from the stockpile. Firefighters from all over the city were called in to help extinguish the fire.

A fire at the plant in 2010 raised health concerns, and the company was fined by the Department of Environmental Protection.

Fire officials say no one was injured and there's been no threat to the surrounding area.

A Sims Metal Management spokesperson say the company will work with fire officials to determine the cause of the blaze.

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