A chemical reaction between two combustible materials is believed to have caused the two-alarm fire at Monadnock Disposal Services Tuesday, Jaffrey Fire Chief David Chamberlain said. (MEGHAN PIERCE)
JAFFREY - A chemical reaction between two combustible materials is believed to have caused the two-alarm fire at Monadnock Disposal Services Tuesday morning, Jaffrey Fire Chief David Chamberlain said.
Firefighters responded to the structure fire at the private waste-disposal business on Old Sharon Road at 10:16 a.m.
Shortly after firefighters arrived, there was a small explosion in the fire, Chamberlain said, so firefighters worked to douse the flames from outside the building.
The fire started on the tipping floor inside the building where workers sort the trash for disposal, Chamberlain said.
“It's hard to tell what's in the Dumpsters,” he said, adding he believes a reaction between two hazardous materials caused the fire.
“It was something that came in from a Dumpster from a facility. Again it's hard to tell because there are multiple trucks that come to dump, moving around by an operator with an excavator,” Chamberlain said. “That's the problem nowadays; something gets put into a Dumpster (and) two things — two chemicals — come together, mix together and create another chemical and then mix with another chemical.”
The wind was also blowing hard, which added to the danger, he said. “The hazards in there can be extreme at times so we brought in extra water and extra personnel.”
It took 20 to 30 minutes to knock down the fire, he said.
Chamberlain said in the past he has seen people toss things from propane tanks to aerosols into Dumpsters. Sometimes if people don't have the means of getting rid of hazardous materials at home, they may drive around at night and find a Dumpster to dispose of the hazardous materials, he said.
Rindge, Peterborough, Fitzwilliam, Keene, Troy, Dublin, New Ipswich, Temple and Greenville firefighters responded to the fire. Antrim covered the Jaffrey fire station during the event.
Chamberlain said no one was injured, and there was no structural damage to the building. Workers resumed work inside the building shortly after firefighters cleared the scene.