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    Default Nasty call .... Fire erupts at BC battery plant

    Hope everyone STAYS SAFE!

    Fire erupts at B.C. battery plant
    Vancouver Province

    November 8, 2009 7:02 AM

    TRAIL, B.C. -- Firefighters were battling a blaze Saturday night at a battery recycling plant in southeastern British Columbia.


    The large fire broke out at about 4 p.m. Saturday at the Toxco Waste Management Facility near Trail, B.C., a city about 600 kilometres east of Vancouver.


    Five fire companies were fighting the stubborn blaze which had spread late Saturday night to the company's recycling facilities.


    Orange smoke from the fire could be seen in Trail as well as the surrounding communities of Montrose and Fruitvale.


    The plant recycles materials from lithium batteries and produces zinc and other metals from alkaline batteries.


    A spokesperson from the Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue confirmed Environment Canada is on the scene although there is no current threat to the environment.

    © Copyright (c) Canwest News Service
    September 11th - Never Forget

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    Sheri
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    RAY WAS HERE FIRST

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    Update:

    Explosions heard throughout Kootenay valley while lithium batteries burned (with video)
    By Lora Grindlay, The ProvinceNovember 8, 2009 11:53 AMBe the first to post a comment
    StoryPhotos ( 1 )Video ( 1 ) ICON
    A fire burns at the Toxco Waste Management facility near Trail on Saturday night.
    Photograph by: Howard Stanley, for The Province

    A massive fire in an outbuilding at a Trail battery recycling plant is still smoldering after firefighters fought it through the night.

    John MacLean, the Kootenay-Boundary Regional District’s chief administrative officer, said heavy equipment was being brought in today (Sunday) to demolish the storage building that held lithium batteries so any remaining hot spots could be extinguished.

    The 52 firefighters who responded to reports of explosions from the building Saturday evening at the Toxco Inc. plant were forced to stand by and let the fire burn because lithium is highly reactive to water and using it on a lithium-fuelled fire will only make it worse, MacLean said.

    “You could hear explosions throughout the valley,” he said. “The fire spread to a neighbouring recycling depot and got into the cardboard stacks.”

    Firefighters fought the fire at the city-contracted recycling plant while the lithium fire burned for an hour.

    “The fire burned quite aggressively. It was a good little fire. It settled down fairly quickly once the lithium had burned off,” he said.

    “Lithium reacts with water. If it’s on fire you can’t put water to it because it just makes it worse. At a certain point in time the operations manager for the plant said the lithium was gone, so then you start putting water to it.”

    MacLean said lithium ignites and burns when exposed to water or water vapours.

    He said a Ministry of Environment official was on scene to monitor air quality because burning lithium emits lithium oxide and the corrosive lithium dioxide.

    “The plume from the lithium facility when straight up in the air and did not go anywhere near any residential areas,” he said.

    Residents were told to stay indoors if the air outside their home was smoky.

    “There was no concern expressed by the Ministry of Environment that we would ever achieve any kind of levels that would represent any kind of hazard to the public,” said MacLean.

    “It dispersed pretty quick. People smelled it and you could tell something was burning but the concentrations would have been so low that it didn’t represent an immediate danger to anybody.”

    The cause of the fire is under investigation but arson is not considered a factor at this time.

    “Seeing how it’s so reactive with water one might suspect that maybe a roof leaked or something like that but who knows. It was raining,” he said.

    No one was injured in the fire and MacLean said the damage was restricted to the storage building and the plant itself wasn’t damaged. Fifteen people work at the battery recycling plant.

    E-mail reporter Lora Grindlay at lgrindlay@theprovince.com
    © Copyright (c) The Province
    http://www.timescolonist.com/news/Ex...428/story.html
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

    Sheri
    IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
    Honorary Flatlander

    RAY WAS HERE FIRST

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    The fire keeps going and going and going...

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