August 25, 2014 in City

Investigators: Acid did not spark waste plant fire

By The Spokesman-Review
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Investigators now say there was likely no link between suspicious acid found in a Spokane garbage truck last week and a fire that broke out at a solid waste plant later that day.

Spokane firefighters initially suspected the acid, which was neutralized by crews in north Spokane on Wednesday, may not have been entirely mopped up and sparked a fire at the Waste-to-Energy Plant near the Spokane International Airport on Wednesday night. But review of surveillance video showed that the load containing the acid was fed directly into the furnace and could not have sparked the blaze, Spokane Fire Department spokesman Brian Schaeffer said.

The acid call shut down city streets near Wellesley Street and Crestline Avenue for a few hours Wednesday morning. The fire caused no damage or injuries at the facility, where flames break out sporadically, Schaeffer said. He praised the infrastructure of the plant with stopping the spread of the fire, which Ken Gimpel of the Spokane Regional Solid Waste System described as minor.

Investigators are still working to determine the cause of the fire at the waste plant, though Schaeffer said that might be difficult as the only items that burned were garbage and were fed into the furnace after the fire in the plant was extinguished.

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