Investigators say bundles of cardboard are believed to have ignited a massive fire Sunday at a metro-east recycling plant.
The blaze started at just before 2 p.m. at TEK Recycling at 2975 Kingshighway in Fairmont City.
“On arrival firefighters found a fire involving baled cardboard was burning outside the building in the northwest area of the property,” Fairmont City Fire Department Chief Robert Allen said in a release. “The fire had spread to the building, igniting stored bales inside.”
No injuries were reported and the cause of the blaze is still under investigation.
Police had shut down the intersection of Illinois 111 with Maryland Avenue, backing up traffic.
Fairmont City Police Chief Scott Penny said the fire at TEK Recycling, 2975 Kingshighway, started just outside the main building on its northwest corner and spread to the structure, where piles of cardboard caught fire. The business also recycles plastic.
“It’s a very hot fire,” Penny said. “This is going to be a hard fire to compress due to the load of combustible material.
“It’s not highly combustible, but once it gets burning, it’s an intense fire.”
An Ameren crew cut power to the facility while firefighters were on the scene. One of the crew members said he could see the smoke from Marine in neighboring Madison County.
Contact reporter Will Buss at firstname.lastname@example.org or 618-239-2526.