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3-alarm fire burns recycling facility along Everett waterfront

Photo courtesy: Everett Fire Department
Photo courtesy: Everett Fire Department
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EVERETT, Wash. -- A massive, 3-alarm fire that gutted a recycling facility along Everett's waterfront, sending a billowing black smoke column into the air that could be seen for miles, could take several days to fully extinguish.

"We have two walls that are collapsed, we have several debris spreads throughout the site that is smoldering and some small fires," said Everett Fire Marshal Eric Hicks.

About a dozen firefighter were still on scene on Sunday, monitoring the still-smoldering building at 101 East Marine View Drive.

"There's a lot of combustible material in the building and it's continuing to smoke," said Hicks. "We still have a decent plume of smoke going into the air."

The fire broke out Saturday evening and was fueled by wood pallets, mulch, plastic and other recyclable materials, according to Everett Fire officials.

Firefighters initially went inside the building to fight the flames, but quickly determined the building was too large and the fire was already too big to extinguish from the inside. Firefighters decided to take a "defensive" approach instead.

At one point, nearly 100 firefighters from around the region were battling the blaze. Water tenders from surrounding fire districts also had to bring in extra water for firefighters to use, due to low water pressure in that area.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but fire officials say it could be linked to several calls they received just days before the massive fire.

"We did have a couple of calls here earlier in the week, so there's speculation that it could have been some of the composting materials," said Hicks. "We have yet to rule that out."

Last Monday and Wednesday firefighters responded to reports of smoke coming from the same building and removed the smoldering compost.

Hicks said there was also a meeting scheduled on Monday to talk to the building's owners about implementing a plan to reduce the fire danger.

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So far, no injuries have been reported. Damage from the fire is expected to be more than a million dollars.

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