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Fire erupts at Sterling, Illinois recycling center

Firefighters were on scene for nearly three hours when a blaze erupted at the CIMCO Recycling Center in Sterling Illinois. The fire was initially called in as a...

Firefighters were on scene for nearly three hours when a blaze erupted at the CIMCO Recycling Center in Sterling Illinois.

The fire was initially called in as an outside fire at 4:35 p.m. Monday, October 19, 2015, according to the Sterling Fire Department. When firefighters got to the center, at 13509 Galt Road, they found a pile of scrap rubber and plastics involved in "heavy fire" on the south side of the separator building.  That pile is known as a "fluff pile."

In addition to the fluff pile fire, the conveyor system was on fire and was spreading to the structure, according to the fire department.

Firefighters got two hoses going: one to protect the structure and another in the building to put out the fire inside.

A statement from the fire department said that they believe the fire was either started by spontaneous combustion or an overheated bearing on the conveyor belt.  It was estimated that there was about $250,000 worth of damage.  The amount saved from the fire was estimated to be about $1 million.

Firefighters were on scene until about 7:20 p.m.