KCK Recycling Center Fire Causes Air Quality Concerns for Kansas City Area Residents
KCK Recycling Center Fire Causes Air Quality Concerns for Kansas City Area Residents

KCK Recycling Center Fire Causes Air Quality Concerns for Kansas City Area Residents

  • 26-May-2023 11:48 AM
  • Journalist: Gabreilla Figueroa

United States: A massive fire broke out in an industrial section of the Advantage Metals Recycling plant located in the 1100 block of South 12th Street, Kansas City, Kansas early Friday morning at around 5:28 a.m. The flames were first spotted by a crane operator at the plant. Despite efforts to douse the blaze on-site, the fire was too intense and continued to burn. Large plumes of smoke from the fire could be seen for miles on both sides of the state line, causing concern among the locals. Kansas City, Kan., fire crews were immediately called to the scene for assistance.

According to the EPA, there haven't been any significant findings of volatile organic compounds, Hydrogen Sulfide, or particulates above EPA's action levels. However, they did note that the Canadian wildfires may have affected the air quality. The fire at the recycling plant was contained to the main pile by 2 p.m., and 50% of the pile was moved or sifted using on-site cranes. A firefighter was taken to the emergency department for an eye evaluation. As of 6:30 p.m., the KCK Fire Department has reported that 99% of the fire has been extinguished.

According to fire crews, the blaze at Advantage Metals was obstructed by a scarcity of water in the surrounding area. The closest hydrant is situated 1,000 feet away, while the subsequent hydrant is over a mile away. This has impeded the firefighting team from having access to the required amount of water to extinguish the fire expeditiously. The facility is located south of the Kansas River, and on the west side of the Seventh Street Trafficway. Moreover, fire officials stated that Advantage Metals handles various types of metals, including recyclable ones such as automobiles, barn tin, refrigerators, washers, dryers, and propane tanks. The fire broke out due to combustible material left behind, including automotive fuel lines, gas tanks, tires, and residual propane. Given the risk of small explosions and sharp metal, a defensive strategy is being implemented to put out the fire.

The smoke plume, carried by northward winds, has become visible for miles, prompting an alert from the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment. The department raised concerns that air quality in northern Johnson County might be affected by the fire. To avoid risks from smoke inhalation, residents are advised to remain indoors as authorities emphasized in a notification sent out to residents.

On May 19, a fire broke out at a recycling plant in Kansas City, Kansas, causing an odor that may be noticeable to some residents in Johnson County, Kansas. A NotifyJoCo message was sent this morning to inform people of the situation. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and emergency response officials are on the scene, monitoring the situation and potential health hazards, if any. If you are sensitive to the smell, have underlying health issues, or have young children or elderly family members, it may be best to stay indoors or limit outdoor activities for now and keep windows closed. This is an ongoing situation, and further updates will be provided by officials as needed.

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