May 20, 2019
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Tank containing oil sludge catches fire at Carmel recycling facility

CARMEL, Maine — It took firefighters from seven departments four hours to extinguish a blaze at a Carmel recycling facility on Tuesday after oil sludge in the bottom of a 10,000-gallon tank caught fire.

No injuries were reported Tuesday.

The fire broke out at the Ideal Recycling Inc. facility on Route 2 shortly after 9 a.m., according to Carmel Fire Chief Mike Azevedo.

Azevedo said the metal tank was dropped off at the facility on Saturday and employees were cutting the metal up to be recycled. The tank previously contained heavy-duty No. 6 oil, and the employees were using torches to cut the tank.

The fire occurred in the middle of the facility’s yard, so no structures were ever in any danger, Azevedo said. It took firefighters from Carmel, Stetson, Levant, Hermon, Hampden, Etna and Holden four hours to extinguish the fire. The Air National Guard brought in a trailer of firefighting foam to battle the blaze.

Azevedo said firefighters managed to cool the tank with water before using the foam to get the fire under control.

“It wasn’t really a big problem,” the chief said.

The fire has been deemed accidental and no charges are expected to be filed, Azevedo said.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly said the fire was caused by workers cleaning the material from the tank. It was caused by cutting up the tank with torches.

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