Niagara Gazette

Local News

September 14, 2012

BLAZE on Highland

Niagara Gazette — Firefighters worked through the afternoon heat Thursday to put out a plastic fire, which spread to dry and brittle brush behind the Tulip Corp. plant on Highland Avenue.

Discarded plastic parts being stored behind the building started on fire sending thick, black smoke - visible for several miles - high into the air. The burning plastic ignited wood pallets that were being stored on the property and embers from the pallets blew onto nearby fields, particularly dry after a summer with little rain.

City Fire Chief Tom Colangelo said that several small brush fires had broken out and some had spread to the woods behind the Braun Horticulture building near the Tulip property.

“There’s piles of woods that we’re just trying to put out,” Colangelo said shortly after firefighters arrived on the scene. 

It didn’t take long for the firefighters to bring the fire under control. Colangelo said that no part of the Tulip Corp. building was ever in danger of catching fire and that employees were not evacuated. No injuries were reported. 

“[The fire] was in the rear,” Colangelo said. “Everything was totally outside.”

Margie Pasiak and her husband were visiting her aunt on Highland Avenue when the fire broke out. She saw the smoke but didn’t think much about it. Pasiak was annoyed by people stopping on the road to look up at the smoke, she said. Pasiak thought that fire crews worked quickly to get the fire under control.

“A lot of people stopped and watched and all I wanted to do was go to the store and come back,” Pasiak said.

“It’s a fire,” she added. “What’s to see?”

Tulip Corp., located in the 3100 block of Highland Avenue, is a plastics recycling company. Owned by a California corporation, the Falls plant reprocesses and recycles shredded battery casings, commonly referred to as “chips,” into a usable material. The company purchases the chips from various suppliers, and then re-processes the chips by washing, drying, and extruding them into usable material.

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