PHX recycling plant cleans up after massive fire

Posted at 5:03 PM, Mar 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-23 21:31:22-04

A day after a three-alarm fire burned at Arizona Pacific Pulp and Paper, a Phoenix recycling plant, the damage is hard to miss. But the surrounding businesses are also dealing with the aftermath.

Next door at S & M Moving Systems, Phoenix firefighters say three or four semis were burned.

As SRP replaced a power pole that was charred, the loss of power took a toll at next door Allred Metal Products.

"Of course we need electricity to run the welding machines in the back, so we just had our guys do a couple hours clean up and then call it a day," said Maureen Maloney, officer manager at Allred Metal Products.

As the billowing column of smoke turned the sky black, workers at surrounding businesses were afraid the fire would spread.

"In fact, they started moving some of the cars in the lot because they were afraid it was going to come over, jump over the fence," said Linda Lugo, who works across the street.

At Allred Metal Products, workers removed oxygen tanks before firefighters told them to evacuate.

"As it got going, there was a lot of explosions, so we kept backing up," Maloney said.

In their back lot, an American flag was flying in the smoke. A Tempe fire captain removed the flag and saved it from burning.

Wednesday, firefighters returned it to the business, clean and properly folded.

It's unclear what the estimated dollar amount of damage is to the recycling plant and if any workers' jobs were affected as a result of the fire. ABC15 called the business, and we were told the owner was not available.