Jerry J. Herrmann

Special to the Grove Sun

People who used to drop off their recyclables at the Red Cedar Recycling Center at 202 D St. NE need to take them to Miami’s recycling center at the Solid Waste Department at 1117 W. 22nd St. until further notice.

This is because the Red Cedar Recycling Center was extensively damaged by fire

Sunday afternoon. Miami firefighters got the call at 1:10 p.m. and sent two engines, a ladder truck and officers truck, plus nine firefighters. A MFD spokesman said the recycling center was fully engulfed when the first firefighters arrived. At that time they called for backup from the Quapaw Tribe, which sent one engine and four firefighters.

MFD Chief Ronnie Cline said even though they used the ladder truck they had plenty of water pressure from the nearby hydrants without having to go to a second line. He said the Electrical Department personnel were called to de-energize the building to

make it safer for the firefighters. “They responded quickly and did a great job,” Cline

said.

Troy Littleaxe, Modoc Tribe assistant tribal administrator, said the fire burned the entire recycling center, except for the office because of the steel door between the office and the shop area. “We got lucky because we had just gotten rid of a truckload of recyclables or it could have been a lot worse,” he said.

Even with that load having gone out, Littleaxe said there was a lot of plastic and cardboard recyclables in the shop area. Cline said because the fire was being fought in 100 degree temperature that they rotated two firemen in the building for about

15 minutes and two outside with a fresh group about every 15 minutes.

“It was great the way the Baptist Regional EMTs took care of our employees to make sure they didn’t suffer from the heat or smoke,” he said.

The firefighters left the scene at 5:57 p.m. While the fire started in the shop area, no cause has been determined, Cline said. He said he appreciated the assistance the firefighters got from the Miami Police Department. Littleaxe said the Modoc Tribe will rebuild the Red Cedar Recycling Center once the insurance company releases it.

In the meantime, he said the city is letting Red Cedar set up its recycling operation at the city’s Solid Waste Department. Interim City Manager Tim Wilson said it is a natural for Red Cedar to move out to the city’s recycling center because the city already has a memorandum of understanding with the Modoc Tribe on recycling.

“This is just a relocation of where residents take their recyclables,” he said. Littleaxe expects Red Cedar to be in full operation at the city’s site next week. He has no idea how long it will take to rebuild the firm’s recycling center, but stresses a new center will be constructed.