Massive fire at Friedman Waste Control Systems destroys recycling yard, nearby businesses

The fire prompted the largest response in the history of the Phoenix Fire Department, drawing more than 200 firefighters.

A fire sparked June 5 at Friedman Waste Control Systems has prompted the “largest response” in the history of the Phoenix Fire Department, according to officials.

As reported by The Washington Post, the fire began around 12:30 p.m. at the Phoenix-based recycling yard and quickly grew in strength, at one point drawing more than 200 firefighters from 10 agencies across the region.

The massive blaze caused significant fire and smoke damage to multiple recycling and commercial facilities, including Friedman Waste Control Systems, a tire business and a lumber yard. Five structures in total were destroyed.

Capt. Todd Keller, a spokesman for the Phoenix Fire Department, told The Arizona Republic that roughly 20 firefighters and four engines were still putting out hot spots on June 7 at the scene before turning efforts over to Friedman officials.

Keller said Friedman officials planned to use excavators and front loaders to break open bales of compacted cardboard and water trucks and hoses to extinguish the remaining hot spots. "As they break those open, where all the hidden smoke and fire is, where it's smoldering, they can kind of take care of this themselves," he said.

Investigators will be conducting preliminary reports, according to officials, but the cause of the fire won’t be determined until the fire is completely out. Keller told The Washington Post it was primarily carboard and paper that burned in the fire.

Friedman president Morris Friedman said in an emailed statement to The Arizona Republic that no employees were injured in the fire. One firefighter suffered from a lower leg injury, however, and was transported to a nearby hospital in stable condition.

"Even though our plant is damaged, our service infrastructure remains intact, and we are open and servicing every single customer today," Friedman said in the statement, adding that the cause was under investigation by Phoenix fire officials.

Waste Today reached out to the company for comment but did not receive a response.

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