Fire at Greensboro recycling facility causes heavy smoke across the county

Posted on: 8:44 am, October 25, 2013, by , and , updated on: 08:59pm, October 27, 2013

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — Authorities say a fire at D.H. Griffin involving various salvaged household appliances in Greensboro is now under control.

Officials say the fire is contained and there is currently no risk of it spreading or creating further hazards.

The Greensboro fire department initially responded to the scene of an outside fire at 4716 Hilltop Road around 8:20 a.m. Smoke could be seen billowing throughout the county well into the afternoon.

Even after a massive fire was contained, smoke poured into the sky for hours.

People who live near the site were relieved after hearing the fire department did not expect the flames to spread, but neighbors were still keeping a close eye on the pile of debris and billowing smoke.

“It’s contained, yes, okay that’s great but you never know when a good gust of wind is gonna come and push a spark into to the trees that line our back fence,” said Crystal Simmons.

Simmons’ backyard backs right up to the D.H. Griffin site, and smoke-filled their yard and home throughout the day.

The worst of the damage was limited to the piles of debris on site. The fire department said shredded appliances caught fire. D.H. Griffin crews worked with cranes alongside firefighters to sort through the smoldering metal.

The fire department advised the more than 1,500 neighbors in the area to stay inside if the smoke bothered them or if they had any respiratory problems.

Dot Comer has lived near the site for more than 33 years and says the company has always been a good neighbor.

“DH Griffin has always been wonderful as far as assuring us of the safety measures they take,” she pointed out. “This is probably the biggest disaster they’ve had here in the 33 years I’ve lived in the neighborhood.”

She pointed out the company was a major employer in the area and she hopes the fire was just an accident. “We’re all human and hopefully it’s just an error,” said Comer.

Yess Learning Center is down the road from the site of the fire. The playground there would usually be full of children, but today owner Felicia Price thought it would be best to keep the kids inside.

“It didn’t impact us too bad. We pretty much didn’t do our outside time like we normally do because we do have some kids who have asthma so we’ve keep everyone inside so they wouldn’t be impacted by the smoke.”

Steady streams kept the flames under control by afternoon.

Neighbors like Simmons appreciated the Fire Department’s diligent work.

“They always do a great job trying to keep everyone safe and we’re all thankful for it,” she concluded.”

Authorities are still investigating the cause of the fire.

D.H. Griffin Companies is a group of six independently owned companies that perform contract demolition as well as environmental and site development services.

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