Twinsburg -- Local firefighters and crews from three other departments battled fires inside three semi trailers filled with electronic recyclables at a Twinsburg Township business last week.
The first call to dispatch to report the flames and smoke on the grounds of Regency Technologies, 1831 Highland Road, came at 12:30 p.m. Sept. 25 from a resident on Glenwood Drive.
Twinsburg firefighters, aided by Hudson, Macedonia and Oakwood crews, arrived at 12:33 p.m. to fight fires in three semi trailers, said Twinsburg Fire Capt. Steve Bosso.
The trailers were tightly packed to the brim with old computers and other electronic recyclables, Bosso said. "Everything from boom boxes to cordless phones and DVD and VCR players," he noted.
Before they could extinguish the flames, firefighters waited for company employees to arrive to tip the trailers on their sides.
"They had to tip over the trailers so we could get to the fire," he said. "Once they were tipped over, it went pretty rapidly."
The air was heavy with the smell of burning plastic, causing firefighters to wear air tanks.
"It was a challenge, but the guys worked hard," Bosso said. "We used thermal imaging at the end to make sure there weren't more hot spots."
No one was injured. Deputies controlling traffic flow were evaluated, since they were breathing in the heavy smoke. They refused further treatment, Bosso said, adding the trailers were a total loss.
"Everything on the bottom was melded together," Bosso said.
He said the fire likely started in the middle trailer, spreading to the trailer on either side. As to the cause, Bosso is confident he knows the answer, but lost any tangible evidence as to the starting point when the trailers were tipped.
"It was probably heat from a battery source that could have smoldered for days," he said. "It wasn't suspicious in any way."
Metal may have fallen against a battery from one of the discarded devices, causing heat, Bosso said.
"It was a perfect storm with the batteries against some metal, able to heat up slowly," Bosso said. "With all the plastic, you've got a fire going."
A call to the company was not returned.
Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4171