A stubborn fire sparked at a waste management facility in El Cajon, burning stacks of trash. NBC 7's Tony Shin speaks to firefighters about the long, messy clean-up efforts.
Fire crews responded to a blaze that sparked at a commercial trash facility in El Cajon Friday night.
Authorities said the fire began just before 6 p.m. inside a Waste Management transfer station in the
900 block of O’Conner Street and North Johnson Avenue in El Cajon.
By the time crews arrived, the little blaze had turned into a fairly large fire – and a stubborn and stinky one at that.
Firefighters requested back-up to help tackle the blaze.
The transfer station -- which is in an industrial part of El Cajon, away from homes -- contains more than 500 tons of trash and recyclables. Firefighters worked as quickly as possible to douse the burning trash and stop the fire from spreading.
Due to the possibility of smoke filled with toxins from the burning trash, a Hazmat crew was also called to the scene.
"They're going to determine if there are any hazardous materials in the trash pile itself and also with the run off that were going to have with all the water being put on the trash pile as well," said Sonny Saghera of Heartland Fire & Rescue.
Firefighters worked tirelessly throughout the night putting trash from the facility into garbage trucks so it could be taken to another location.
"It's going to be very labor intensive and crews are going to be here for a while," said Saghera.
Since the fire was in an industrial area, there wasn’t much concern about the smoke wafting into neighborhoods. Still, people who live downwind were advised to keep their windows closed for several hours.
Despite the smoke and stench, firefighters had the situation under control. Crews from Heartland Fire & Rescue, the Santee and Lakeside Departments, San Miguel Fire Pro tection District and San Diego Fire & Rescue all assisted in containing and cleaning up the trash fire.
Workers at the waste facility were thankful for their hard work.
"We're just very appreciative of the fire department that came out quickly responded and are still working to put this fire out," said Eloisa Orozco, area communications manager for Waste Management.
No injuries were reported.
It is still unclear what exactly sparked the fire and the investigation is ongoing.