A ladder truck malfunctioned as city firefighters responded to a “deep-seated” fire at a building housing a paper recycling company on 7th Street on Tuesday evening, authorities said.
No one was injured in the blaze, Chief Patrick Trentacost said.
Firefighters responded to a paper recycling factory on 7th Street at approximately 6:30 p.m., Trentacost said, and found the fire burning in the middle of the structure.
Trentacost called the fire “unique” because large bundles of recycled paper that stretched 20 feet in the air that were burning inside the building.
After arriving, firefighters doused the building for nearly two-and-half hours before calling it under control. The fire was extinguished at 11:30 p.m., Trentacost said.
Investigators determined that employees of the paper recycling company had attempted to put out the fire themselves before calling the fire department, Trentacost said.
“Our intention is to avoid this in the future,” Trentacost said, adding that the public should call firefighters instead of attempting to put out fires themselves. “The department’s response time makes the difference between a large fire and small fire.”
The cause of the fire is still being investigated, Trentacost said, but it is not being considered suspicious.
A “mechanical issue” caused a “malfunction” on a ladder truck, Trentacost said. The three firefighters on the truck were unharmed when the ladder crashed onto the building. The cause of the malfunction is under investigation, he said.
The ladder truck was last passed an inspection in October, Trentacost said. The ladder truck manufacturer is assisting in the malfunction’s investigation, he said.
Mayor Hector Lora said that when he arrived it was a “huge relief” to find that no one was injured during the fire and credited the department’s “professionalism” in getting it under control.