ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – The Lemay Fire Protection District was joined by several other departments battling a three-alarm fire at the Republic Services recycling facility near Interstate 55 and Bayless Avenue Wednesday afternoon.
Drivers traveling along I-55 and nearby residents could see the flames.
“I came outside and took a look and could hardly see the end of the street because there was so much smoke,” said nearby resident Mark Mast.
A spokesperson representing the Lemay Fire Protection District said the fire started outside the plant and spread to approximately 100 feet inside where a sprinkler system activated.
The plant is where recycled materials are sorted. FOX 2 reported on a previous fire at the plant last summer and complaints about debris blowing outside the plant area along the highway.
Temperatures reached 100 degrees on Wednesday. The fire was raised to a three-alarm quickly because of the extreme temperatures and the facility, which is a recycling plant.
Nearby residents expressed relief the fire was extinguished without anyone getting hurt. They also expressed appreciation for the work of first responders.
“We do appreciate all that they do,” said nearby resident Chris Goodwin.
In addition to the Lemay Fire Protection District, firefighters from Affton, Mehlville, St. Louis City, Fenton, Shrewsbury, Webster Groves, and Richmond Heights responded.
Officials told FOX 2 it was too soon to determine the cause of Wednesday’s fire. No injuries were reported.
Republic Services reported it was in a cleanup phase Wednesday evening and said its facility did not sustain damage.