By GREG RUSSELL
Register Staff Writer
A fire triggered Monday morning in a Gainesville city facility wasn’t fully extinguished until Tuesday afternoon, officials said, and the cause remains undeclared.
Flames in a transfer station of the city’s solid waste site burned mostly piles of rubbish in the station’s lower level — gathered household garbage — and destroyed two equipment vehicles.
Officials said the damage didn’t cause injuries or spread far while the fire raged inside the lower level, but the flames were located in an area hard to reach.
“It was a lot of rubbish and very deep-seated, so that creates a problem,” Wally Cox of Gainesville Fire Department said Tuesday. “The building sustained some structural damage and we had to check on that before we could actually put people inside to effect the final extinguishment.”
On Monday, Fire Marshal Jody Henry noted the peculiar location of the fire, which directly affected how long officers spent putting it out.
“I suspect it’ll be hours before it’s extinguished,” Henry said Monday afternoon. “It’s too hazardous to put firefighters inside the building at this point and from the outside, we’re unable to direct our water streams right where they need to go.”
The fire was extinguished by noon Tuesday. In a statement released the same day, City Secretary Kay Lunnon said city officials are beginning an investigation into the cause of the blaze and working with an insurance carrier to determine the extent of the damage to the building.
Solid waste schedule
Lunnon added that due to procedural delays caused by the fire, the transfer station and recycling station will re-open today. The city requests that citizens place their refuse carts out by 6:30 a.m. on their scheduled collection date instead of the regular 7 a.m. time until further notice to allow city crews the extra time it will take to directly haul the waste to the landfill.
Thursday collection, Lunnon said, has been moved to today due to the Independence Day holiday.
By GREG RUSSELL
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