Cambridge, Ontario dispatch received a call for a machine on fire in a large recycling plant at 505 Conestoga Blvd at 17:50 hours, October 5 2015. Four of the five Cambridge stations were dispatched to the call. Two pumps, a 102’ quint platform, 50’ quint, Platoon Chief, and new heavy rescue responded with 19 firefighters. The 330 x 450’ building is only a few blocks from HQ and was packed with plastics and cardboard.
A1 arrived on scene and reported nothing visible from the front. A quick 360 revealed heavy smoke conditions inside the building. A hydrant was picked up on the way in by A3 and firefighters pulled a 2.5” line to the center of the building. They reported they had heavy fire from floor to ceiling (50-foot roof) and they had large pieces of debris falling around them. They evacuated the building after 15 minutes of suppression.
Additional hydrants were picked up and crews set up the two aerials, ground monitors, and hand lines to try to knock the fire down. Overtime crews were called in and additional firefighters responded to the scene with spare aerial 44 and other vehicles, and staffed the spare pumper and tanker.
The fire was brought under control just after 2:00. The company had just finished installing four million dollars of solar panels on the roof, and had not yet turned them on. Damage has been set at $15,000,000, the largest fire damage in Cambridge history. Crews were still on the scene dousing hot spots 24 hours later. Smoke from the fire drifted towards Kitchener where Station 4 had four calls for the smell of burning plastic. Station 4 is approximately seven miles from the fire.
Box 690 provided rehab for the first eight hours, and was back on scene again the next morning topping up coolers and snack trays.