Blaze destroys recycling barn

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By John Whitlock

A fire at the county recycling barn Monday afternoon has damaged several thousands of dollars of equipment.

Owenton Fire Chief David Lilly said arson investigators have been called in to determine the cause of the blaze.

“I can’t determine the cause myself,” Lilly said. “We’ve had an investigator here (Tuesday) and another one will come from the insurance company (Wednesday).”

The barn, located next to the county garage on Blanton Street in Owenton, is used to process recycling.

The bales of recycled paper caused a special problem for firefighters.

“We had to treat it like a hay fire,” Lilly said. “We had to tear it all apart and make sure that none of it was smoldering.”

The plastic recycling, which could have presented a health risk if it had caught on fire, had already been compacted and was being stored outside the barn.

Although no one was injured battling the blaze, Lilly said the high temperatures the region has been experiencing lately also presented a problem and forced firefighters to adjust their normal routines.

“We didn’t want anyone in there too long because of the extreme heat,” Lilly said.

Inside the barn, the recycling baler and a black-top paver were damaged. The extent and cost of the damage to the equipment has not been released.