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Blaze engulfs Kapolei metal plant

Michael Tsai
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CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL/CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

Firefighters battled a blaze at Schnitzer Steel Hawaii in Campbell Industrial Park tonight.

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CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL/CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

Firefighters battled a blaze at Schnitzer Steel Hawaii in Campbell Industrial Park tonight.

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CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL/CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

Firefighters battled a blaze at Schnitzer Steel Hawaii in Campbell Industrial Park tonight.

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COURTESY ALL G&H TOWING

A fire at Schnitzer Steel Hawaii Corp. (formerly Hawaii Metal Recycling) in Kapolei generated flames and black smoke visible from blocks away.

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COURTESY FORRESTT YORO

A fire at Schnitzer Steel Hawaii Corp. (formerly Hawaii Metal Recycling) in Kapolei generated flames and black smoke visible from blocks away.

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Schnitzer Steel Hawaii Corp. is at 91-056 Hanua St. in Kapolei.

Honolulu firefighters battled a large fire at Schnitzer Steel Hawaii Corp. (formerly Hawaii Metal Recycling) in Kapolei on Friday evening.

Firefighters responding to a 5:16 p.m. emergency call found heavy smoke and flames emanating 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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Star-Advertiser reporter Leila Fujimori contributed to this report.

5 responses to “Blaze engulfs Kapolei metal plant”

  1. Oahuan says:

    Damn, even our trash is unsafe. Can they set Aloha Stadium on fire too?

  2. poipoo says:

    They do have a fire bug or two out that side don’t they. hope they’re caught before someone dies in their ‘fun’

  3. mikethenovice says:

    Thanks to the Republican Congress for not funding the OSHA, work safety crew, so that we could have enough staffing to make inspections around the country.

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