COLUMBIA — An automatic sprinkler system helped to quickly extinguish a fire and prevent damages at Civic Recycling early Friday morning, according to a Columbia Fire Department news release. No injuries were reported.
The release stated that at 5:41 a.m., the Fire Department was dispatched to 3300 Brown Station Road for a commercial structure fire at Civic Recycling, a business which sorts paper, cardboard and plastic products.
A passing motorist reported smoke coming from one of the buildings in the Public Safety Joint Communications complex, according to the release.
The release stated that fire crews arrived on the scene at 5:47 a.m. and reported hearing the sound of the automatic sprinkler alarm. Crews noted the sprinkler system had activated and was "holding the fire in-check in the northeast corner of the building," according to the release.
The release stated that Civic Recycling installed the automatic sprinkler system in 2003 to protect the building after two previous fires resulted in millions of dollars in damages:
- The first Civic Recycling fire in 1998 was the result of juveniles shooting off fireworks to the north side of the building, which set paper and cardboard products on fire, according to the release.
- The release stated that the second Civic Recycling fire occurred in June 2001. It was ruled as an "incendiary fire," and no arrests were made.
The fires in 1998 and 2001 required millions of gallons of water to extinguish the flames, and fire department resources and crews spent hours battling the blazes, according to the release.
The release stated that Friday morning's fire was quickly controlled by the sprinkler system, using only hundreds of gallons of water. Fire crews had extinguished the fire and were off the scene by 8:30 a.m.
There is no estimate for damage, and the cause of the fire is under investigation, according to the release.