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Spokane

Investigators: Waste plant fire may be tied to acid in truck

Thu., Aug. 21, 2014, 9:52 a.m.

A suspicious acid call that prompted a shutdown of city streets in north Spokane on Wednesday morning was likely linked to a small fire at the Waste to Energy facility later in the day, according to investigators.

Firefighters were dispatched to the Spokane Regional Solid Waste System facility at 2900 S. Geiger Boulevard just before 7 p.m. Wednesday, according to Spokane Fire Department spokesman Brian Schaeffer. The fire started on the residential side of the floor and was mostly extinguished by a sprinkler system in the building, said Ken Gimpel, assistant utilities division director with the Solid Waste System.

“The facility’s plan worked really well,” Schaeffer said. There were no injuries reported and no damage to the facility, as the smoldering was confined mostly to garbage, Gimpel said. Operations at the facility have not been affected by the fire, he added.

Schaeffer said the cause of the fire may remain unknown, but there is a “relatively high likelihood” it was related to a call of a suspicious liquid in a garbage truck at the intersection of Wellesley Street and Crestline Avenue earlier Wednesday. Firefighters there discovered a muriatic acid - a solution of hydrogen chloride and water - that was neutralized, Schaeffer said.

Schaeffer said it’s likely some more of the acid found its way to the facility and sparked the fire. No injuries were reported in the acid call Wednesday morning, though roads were closed for several hours.



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