Fire at Metal Recycling Facility

Since Tuesday morning last week, the Becker Fire Department has been battling an out of control fire at the Northern Metal Recycling facility. The fire started in a pile of crushed cars at the facility and was reported to authorities by a passerby at around 2:30 AM on Tuesday.

Over the course of the 24 hours, firefighters from 18 different fire departments were all on scene trying to battle the blaze. School was cancelled for all students on Wednesday and Thursday of last week due to air quality concerns. James Kelly, a representative from the Minnesota Department of Health, said that some of the materials that were burning could be considered “problematic or hazardous” and advised residents with breathing trouble to stay indoors.

Residents of Becker are also weighing in on the fire. WCCO reported that resident Trisha Reiling said, “It just smelled kind of like, I don’t know, burning tires here for a few days.” Her husband Scott also said that “It actually blocked out the sun on I-94.”

It just smelled kind of like, I don’t know, burning tires here for a few days”

— Trisha Reiling

On Thursday, the decision was made to contain the fire instead of continuing to fight it, as it was causing serious strain on the water supply in Becker. Firefighters moved all other objects out of the area and then they monitored the fire until it burned out.

As of Saturday, February 22nd, the fire has officially been put out.  The State Fire Marshall’s office is still investigating what started the fire.