Niagara Gazette

Crime

May 14, 2014

Fire shuts down Town of Lockport electronic recycling

Niagara Gazette — Collection for electronic recycling will stop immediately in the Town of Lockport, following Sunday’s fire that destroyed the shed behind Town Hall that stored the items.

Instead, residents are being encouraged to take their items to Niagara County Redemption Center, 4022 Lake Ave., a private recycling business in Wrights Corners. The center is open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Sundays.

The town had been collecting electronics in a small 10-by-16 wooden shed located to the south of the hall on Dysinger Road. That was until a fire broke out at just before 5 p.m. Sunday afternoon, destroying the shed and the items stored which were primarily televisions. Rapids Volunteer Fire Co. responded and put the fire out in minutes.

There was an investigation into the cause of the fire, which Councilwoman Patricia Dufour said authorities believed it was triggered by corroded batteries in some discarded piece of electronics.

Dufour said Rapids firefighters saw a number of boxes with batteries in a corner of the shed. The belief is the batteries had gotten wet, corroded, then caught fire as the temperature rose Sunday.

One of the challenges of the recycling shed was that the town didn’t have the manpower to assign someone to monitor it. Often, the shed would fill up with electronics, so some items were left just outside of the structure.

That, as well as the lack of a fire accelerant, the time and proximity to a State Police barracks on Dysinger, suggests arson wasn’t a cause, Dufour said.

The items were left by residents to be recycled and the town no longer receives money for recycling, so the town isn’t affected financially, other than the shed itself, Supervisor Marc R. Smith said on Sunday.

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