Cause Of Fire At Frankfort Recycling Plant Ruled Undetermined

Sep 5, 2019

Investigators say some of the methods used to suppress the fire complicated the investigation.
Credit Taylor Haggerty / WBAA News

Investigators have ruled the cause of a fire that ravaged a Frankfort recycling plant in July as “undetermined.” That’s according to a press release issued by city officials Thursday.

The press release states that, though they could confirm the fire started on the northeast side of the Werner & Son recycling plant, they could not determine what caused the blaze.

Lead investigator Dustin Phillips says fire suppression tactics used to clear debris and put out hot spots complicated the investigation, and the rearrangement and removal of debris and machinery made it difficult to identify an exact cause.

"There was so much damage that we had to use excavators to actually get to the fires, which in turn moved some important components we needed to see," Phillips says. "It was nobody's fault, it was just a thing that happened to be able to get it extinguished."

The building also underwent partial demolition before the investigation concluded, but Phillips says that didn't interfere with the investigation.

"We were able to isolate the north building of the complex to the area of origin. Everyone was on board with that," Phillips says. "We then allowed cleanup to start from points south of that area of origin while they kept intact the building we were convinced it started in."

The city is still processing recycling through its street department facilities, and the cities of Delphi and Flora have both suspended their curbside recycling pick-up until Werner & Son is back in operation.

This story has been updated to include comments from Dustin Phillips.