Crews spend better part of day battling blaze

By Anthony Antoine |

Published 07/08 2014 05:50PM

Updated 07/09 2014 08:58AM

DANVILLE -- A recycling company catches fire causing several explosions. About seven fire departments responded to the call Tuesday afternoon at Bryant Industries in the 1400-block of Warrington Road. WCIA-3's Anthony Antoine has more.

No one was hurt, but authorities say it could have been much worse.

"There was actually a gentlemen working around the pile with the crane at the time and seen what started out as a small fire, working its way under."

Firefighters aren't saying what exactly started the fire, but owner, Mike Bryant, has his own explanation.

"It could have been a magnet striking on a piece of steel getting into some wood that could have been laying around the outside of the pile. At that point, it spread up under the pile. At that point, there really isn't a way to put it out."

The center of the scrap pile was about twenty 55-gallon barrels filled with food flavoring liquid.

"The barrels were sealed, so the heat from the fire was combusting the barrels and blowing the lids off of them."

The owner says it wasn't flammable, but firefighters didn't know that going in.

"We had barrels that were exploding on initial when we got here. We would get an explosion every three to four minutes for a good forty minutes into the call. They were flying a distance."

Concerned that hazardous waste could be inside the barrels, crews kept a safe distance and fought the flames from three sides. After they got it under control, employees from Bryant Industries used a crane to get rid of the scrap so firefighters could move in closer.

"First responders did a real good job. They got it knocked down so we could get equipment on there, feel safe about it and get everything moved out."

The owner says they plan to finish clean up Tuesday night to reopen Wednesday.

The company had another huge fire a few years ago. It took six departments to get the 2012 fire under control. It broke out in the warehouse when a worker was using a torch and caught a part on fire. The warehouse was a total loss. No one was hurt in that fire either.

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