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The Honolulu Advertiser
Updated at 3:47 a.m., Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Fire deliberately set at Kapolei recycling company

Advertiser Staff

Firefighters spent several hours last night and early this morning extinguishing what appears to be a deliberately set fire at a metals recycling plant in the Campbell Industrial Park area of Kapolei.

The fire was reported about 10 p.m. at Schnitzer Steel Hawaii at 91-056 Hanua St. The fire involved a pile of drift nets that Schnitzer processes to reduce ocean pollution. The drift nets are recovered from reefs and brought to Schnitzer which uses machinery to chop up the nets which are then burned at the city's H-Power facility, said fire Capt. Terry Seelig.

The fire was contained at approximately 12:30 a.m. this morning and was expected to be extinguished by 4 a.m.

There were no injuries reported and the fire did not extended beyond the pile of shredded material. Winds carried the smoke towards the west and there were no reports of anyone affected by the smoke, nor were there any evacuations, Seelig said.

The HFD fire investigator has determined the cause of the fire to be intentional and the case was referred to police, Seelig said..

Five engines, a ladder, a tanker and a Battalion Chief totaling about approximately 35 firefighters in all were sent to battle the blaze.

HFD personnel worked with Schnitzer employees to control the fire while the shredded material pile was pulled apart so the fire could be extinguished. Schnitzer crews used heavy equipment to move the pile while HFD crews used a ladder pipe to control the fire, Seelig said.

A previous fire at Schnitzer Steel Hawaii occurred on Dec.19 in a pile of scrap metal. There were no injuries, evacuations, or damage reported and the fire was extinguished in 5 hours. The HFD fire investigator classified the cause of the December fire as undetermined.

The undetermined classification of a fire means that the fire investigator analyzed all possible causes of the fire, but there is insufficient information to identify any one specific cause. In addition, there is insufficient information to substantially eliminate some or all of the other possible causes.