Hamilton Fire crews battle compost centre fire

Hamilton Fire Department sent more than 30 firefighters to battle a fire at the city's compost centre on Burlington Avenue East. (Courtesy of David Christopher, Hamilton Fire Department)

More than 30 firefighters on Sunday battled a multiple-alarm fire at a city centre housing compostable waste – the material Hamiltonians put in their green bins each week.

Because of the material burning, there’s a lot of smoke and heat, so the crews found it difficult to get into the building to knock the fire down, said Hamilton Fire spokesman David Christopher.

The centre is on Burlington Street East near Kenilworth Avenue.

Earlier, Christopher said the significant number of firefighters sent to the scene was not cause for alarm.

“All that’s burning is compost,” Christopher said. “So it’s not like it’s any hazardous material or anything.”

The smoke carries a distinct green-bin pungency, Christopher said.

“It smells like crap! Because that’s exactly what it is,” he said.

Christopher said it’s hard to tell yet what damage to the building will be. The centre is about 100 feet by 300 feet, Christopher estimated.