Garbage Fire Torches Transfer Station


Star Disposal's transfer station building shows damage from a garbage fire last Thursday night. (Photo: ENEWSPF)

May have been  caused by improperly disposed pool chemicals

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)— The Park Forest Fire Department and departments from surrounding areas including University Park, South Chicago Heights, Richton Park, and Beecher extinguished a garbage fire in the transfer station of Star Disposal on South Street. According to Tom Agema of Star Disposal, the fire involved a pile of garbage approximately 30 feet tall. There was no major structural damage to the building, but several overhead garage doors had to be forcibly removed by a front end loader to ventilate the building, according to Agema. Repairs to the transfer station will include replacing some electrical wiring that was burned up, broken overhead doors and a couple of wall panels on the side of the building.

Mr. Agema suspects that it may be related to something such as pool chemicals disposed of improperly that combusted in the heat of the transfer station, “There are certain pool chemicals that react to water, and can start a fire.  That can happen in the truck.  Our directions to them is to find a parking lot and dump it." When a garbage fire erupts inside the holding area of the truck, it can quickly burn the hydraulics, making the truck impossible to open, according to Agema.

“Because [the fire] burned through the electric, we couldn’t open the overhead doors.  So our guy went in with a front-end loader and drove through the doors so they could get at the fire." Mr. Agema said they are still assessing whether there is any structural damage to the building. “We are able to continue to operate while we evaluate and get repairs done."

There were no injuries. All employees were evacuated.