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Crews respond to trailer fire en route to Sims Metal in Redwood City

Multiple fires have broken out at the metal recycling plant in recent years.
Sims Metal. Courtesy Google Maps.

A 40-foot trailer carrying scrap metal caught fire Thursday as it made its way to the Sims Metal, a 12-acre recycling center in Redwood City, according to Redwood City fire officials. The cause of the fire is undetermined.

Fire crews were dispatched to the scene of a 40-foot trailer engulfed in flames at 1:41 p.m. The trailer caught fire on Seaport Boulevard, while crossing Blomquist Street about 1.4 miles east of Sims Metal, which is located at 699 Seaport Blvd. A total of two fire engines and a battalion chief responded to the incident, said Redwood City Fire Chief Ray Iverson. 

Upon arrival, crews found a truckload of scrap metal on fire. It was dumped from the truck onto Seaport Boulevard so crews could extinguish the fire, according to Iverson.

"[Fire crews] are working now to to fully extinguish the load and reload it and put it back in transport to Sims Metal," Iverson said just after 2:30 pm. Thursday. 

Sims Metal owns over 200 facilities that process scrap metal purchased from other businesses and recyclers, according to its website. 

There were partial road closures on Seaport Boulevard and traffic was redirected as fire officials cleaned up the remainder of the fire. The road was reopened at 5:18 p.m.

Redwood City Fire Department is investigating the cause of the incident. 

Sims Metal's Redwood City recycling facility has been the site of multiple fires. A large blaze that broke out at the metal recycling plant last year triggered several explosions, damaged multiple vehicles and left one worker injured. 

The incident prompted the State of California to issue an order to the recycling center asking it to investigate the degree to which its operations may have caused pollution in the area from its facility and to clean it up.

The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has conducted multiple inspections of the recycling facility and had determined that “releases of hazardous waste and hazardous waste constituents have occurred.


Avery Luke

About the Author: Avery Luke

Avery Luke, a Los Altos native, is a reporter at the Redwood City Pulse. She was formerly a reporter at KPFA Radio in Berkeley. Avery is also a newscast writer at KTVU FOX 2 and holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism from DePaul University in Chicago.
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