Two-alarm fire reported at electronics recycling center

Possibly started in shredder inside west Vancouver warehouse

By Emily Gillespie, Columbian Breaking News Reporter and Patty Hastings, Columbian Social Services, Demographics, Faith

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Firefighters battled a two-alarm fire Wednesday afternoon at an electronics recycling center in west Vancouver’s industrial area.

The fire was reported at 1:55 p.m. at IMS Electronics Recycling, 2401 Saint Francis Lane in the Fruit Valley neighborhood.

When the first crew of firefighters arrived, they found the building was full of smoke.

“It creates a problem even locating where the fire’s at,” said Vancouver Fire Department Deputy Chief Drew Tracy. To help find the blaze, another crew ventilated the nearly 60,000-square-foot structure by opening vents in the roof, Tracy said.

Twenty-five people inside had evacuated prior to the fire department’s arrival.

The fire was upgraded to a second alarm shortly after the first crews came on scene because smoke was pouring out of the building, Tracy said. “Commercial buildings with an active fire inside is an automatic two-alarm because of the people you need (to contain the blaze) and the complexity involved.”

Firefighters used hoses to douse the blaze, which was contained to a shredder about 200 feet into the industrial building, Tracy said. The fire was under control at 2:42 p.m., he said. Crews stayed for a while longer at the warehouse to suppress any smoldering, according to emergency radio traffic monitored at The Columbian.

Crews from Clark County Fire District 6 responded to assist, for a total of 34 fire personnel who responded to the scene.

Materials at IMS Electronics Recycling, such as computers and televisions, are either dismantled or shredded before they’re recycled. The California-based company founded in 1954 has facilities around the U.S. The Vancouver site opened in 2007 and employs 60 people, according to Columbian archives.

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