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Fire marshal to investigate West Paris scrapyard blaze

Posted Nov. 06, 2013, at 7:23 a.m.

WEST PARIS, Maine — The state fire marshal’s office is investigating the cause of a Tuesday evening fire at West Paris Metals, a scrap metal yard on Maple Street, the scene of another fire in August.

According to West Paris Fire Chief Norm St. Pierre, no employees were working at the scrapyard when the fire was reported shortly before 5 p.m.

Firefighters arrived to find a 10- by 12-foot blaze on a pile of trash, mainly cardboard, plastic and at least two truck tires, just inside the entrance of the yard, St. Pierre said.

Crews were able to quickly contain and extinguish the fire. By about 5:30 p.m., firefighters were using flame-suppressing foam to ensure the blaze was out.

St. Pierre said crews were unable to determine the cause of the fire, and officials from the fire marshal’s office would investigate Wednesday

Workers at the yard were cutting scrap metal near the area of the fire on Tuesday, St. Pierre said, but he couldn’t be sure sparks from the cutting ignited the blaze.

He noted the area does not have a gate at the entrance to the yard that might prevent unauthorized people from entering the property.

The Maple Street scrap metal yard was the scene of an intense blaze in August, which torched more than 40 junked cars. Firefighters took nearly five hours putting out that fire, which was ignited when sparks from cutting a vehicle spread to nearby scrap cars.

Following the incident, St. Pierre and West Paris selectmen asked owner Ernest Yap to make a number of safety improvements to his yard to help prevent future fires.

According to St. Pierre, Yap has complied with the town’s requirements and made great steps in cleaning up the yard. Last month, selectmen approved Yap’s junkyard permit after inspecting the yard.

 

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