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Fire under control at Kapolei recycling plant

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    HFD firefighters battled a blaze at Schnitzer Steel Hawaii in Campbell Industrial Park on Friday evening. The recycling plant is located at 91-056 Hanua St.

The large fire at a Kapolei recycling plant Friday evening rekindled this morning but was under control by early afternoon, the Honolulu Fire Department said.

Around 9:26 a.m., five units from the fire department with 12 personnel responded back to Schnitzer Steel Hawaii Corporation at 91-056 Hanua Street in Campbell Industrial Park.

The fire was under control at 12:07 p.m., and a fire investigator was dispatched to the scene, HFD said.

Around 5:16 p.m. Friday, firefighters responded to reports of heavy smoke and flames coming from the recycling center.

In all, 35 personnel from 10 Honolulu Fire Department units responded to the fire.

HFD spokesman Capt. Kevin Mokulehua said the firefighters surrounded the fire and, with the assistance of a helicopter crew, applied as much water as possible to contain the blaze.

The area of the initial fire was a pile of cars, about 40 feet high, in an area 30 by 30 feet, according to Mokulehua. The fire later spread to another pile of appliance parts about 15 feetaway.

Fire officials at the scene estimated it would take upward of four hours to contain the blaze.

No injuries were reported.

HFD battalion chief James Perkins said wind was blowing toxic fumes safely toward the ocean.

Several Twitter users posted dramatic photos of fire and black smoke rising high into the air.

Healani Rego, owner of All G&H Towing, said her workers regularly transport abandoned vehicles to the lot. She said that while fluids are drained from the vehicles before delivery, it is normal for trace amounts of flammable material to remain.

As another owner of a nearby business remarked, fires are something of an occupational hazard.

The property at 91-056 Hanua St. has been the site of several fires since 2000 — at least one of which was intentionally set.

The first occurred Jan. 12, 2000. Two weeks later fire burned a 50-foot heap of recycling byproduct at the site.

On Dec. 19, 2008, firefighters spent five hours battling a blaze that originated in a pile of scrap metal.

On Jan. 6, 2009, fire burned a pile of driftnets that had been processed for disposal at the city’s HPOWER facility. Fire investigators determined that the fire was intentionally set, andthe case was referred to the Honolulu Police Department.

Firefighters were again called to the property on May 23, 2009, to extinguish a fire that started in another metal heap.

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