Day three: Firefighters wrapping up at North Knoxville recycling plant

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COVER PHOTO_Recycling Center fire debris with KFD_0503_1556856151439.JPG.jpg


The Knoxville Fire Department confirmed Friday that the fire at a recycling facility in North Knoxville has been extinguished and operations are wrapping up.

KFD spokesperson DJ Corcoran said Friday morning that the blaze has been extinguished, but crews would continue to manage hot spots at the site. 

By afternoon, operations had been cut back to one aerial unit and one pumper, just to keep a watch on the scene for the next 12 to 24 hours. They will then turn the property back over to the owner.

“This afternoon we’re just going to start really pulling our operations back to almost nothing, if you will,” Assistant Chief Mark Wilbanks said. “We’re going to have two pieces of apparatus that’s going to stay on the scene through the night. We’re just going to kind of be patrolling for hot spots. We’re not putting any active fires out, we’re not moving anything around. Smoke conditions should virtually be nil at this point. We’re going to be flowing a little bit of water, mostly just to keep the storm drain open and help put some oxygen into the storm drain system. That’s to help the fish and stuff downstream. Pretty much we’re almost done with this operation at this point. Soon, hopefully tomorrow sometime, we’ll turn this property back over to the owners.”

Crews are reopening Morelia Road but Hancock and Harvey will be closed through the night.

Firefighters knocked down one of the buildings on the property Thursday as they work to put it out. A total of 180,000 gallons of water are being used every hour in an effort to extinguish the blaze.  

“We’re just glad it’s over with. We’re ready to move on to the next thing that we need to do for our citizens but we’re very glad it’s over with,” said Wilbanks.

Evacuations began a few hours after the fire started at Fort Loudon Waste & Recycling at 2742 Hancock Street.

Residents of around 100 homes were evacuated to the Emerald Youth Center, On Thursday, officials began letting residents back into their homes on foot only.  

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