Major industrial fire at East Syracuse recycling plant, may burn for days

Syracuse Recycling and Recovery plant

A major industrial fire broke out at the Syracuse Recycling and Recovery plant at 380 Carr Street in East Syracuse shortly after 2:00 a.m. Tuesday and officials say it could burn for days.

Officials say most of the property's five interconnected buildings were engulfed in flames by the time firefighters arrived at the scene and have been destroyed.

Firefighters plan to stay on the scene in case there are flare-ups in the wreckage. Officials say it could take days to completely put out the smoldering debris. Officials say crews will work the scene in shift rotations that could last several days.

Firefighters plan to use heavy equipment to take down walls and gain access to still-smoldering areas. The East Syracuse Fire Department is coordinating around-the-clock shifts for crews to put out hotspots.

East Syracuse Fire Chief Robert Russell says he hopes the hotspots will be out it to says, which is less time than was initially estimated. "I'm looking probably at two days operation here. I don't want it to be that, but it all depends how quickly we can get in there, move stuff around, get it wet down," says Russell.

Russell says investigators were cleared by mid-day to go into the building. Investigators will also look at surveillance video from nearby cameras to help them determine the cause. At this point, the Russell says they do not know what caused the fire.

"The company has property surveillance cameras, so they are looking through them to see of any of them have any still pictures, or anything on it, for what may have started it," says Russell.

The plant recycles paper, plastic, and metal, which officials say contributed to the fire.

Russell says there doesnâ??t appear to be any risk from smoke or runoff to firefighters or nearby residents. The winds from the active fire pushed the smoke away from the nearby residential areas.

The Department of Environmental Conservation has been to the scene and has left.

During the fire, flames could be seen shooting from the building on I-690.

Approximately 15 fire departments, and over 100 firefighters, have been to the scene.

NY 290, in both directions, between Bridge Street and Upton Street were closed about four hours while firefighters were at the scene. The road reopened around 8:10 a.m.

The Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency (OCCRA) says that while Syracuse Recycling and Recovery in East Syracuse is closed, recyclables sent to the curb in Onondaga County will be recycled at Management Recycle America in Liverpool.

An investigation into the fire is ongoing.

(Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.)

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