Manitoba

St. Boniface residents raise concerns about metal shredder hit by fire

A fire at a metal shredding facility in Winnipeg's St. Boniface area on Thursday afternoon has added to concerns that people living nearby have about the business.

People living near Industrial Metal Shredder have complained of smells, metal dust

This fire at Industrial Metal Shredder on Messier Street started late Thursday afternoon. It was extinguished within an hour. (Seine River Bonivital Residents Association)

A fire at a metal shredding facility in Winnipeg's St. Boniface area has added to concerns that people living nearby have about the business.

Emergency crews were called to Industrial Metal Shredder on Messier Street near Archibald Street at 4:19 p.m. Thursday.

The fire, which was in a large shredder in the yard, was extinguished just after 5 p.m., according to the City of Winnipeg.

No structures were at risk, a city spokesperson said, adding that firefighters used "large supply lines from hydrants and a water/foam solution" to put out the blaze.

Among those who saw the fire was Christine Trickey, who lives near Marion and Archibald streets and was driving in the area when she noticed black smoke and a "burnt rubber kind of chemical paint smell."

"There looked like to be a fire on the auto shredder residue pile," she said.

"When we went around to the other side, it looked like the top of the shredder had been torched."

Residents have complaints

Trickey said the fire is the latest in a number of issues residents have identified since the shredding business started operations this past summer.

"People are noticing these smells. They're noticing fluff. They're noticing metal dust on their cars. They're noticing diesel smells in the area, paint fume smells," she said.

Christine Trickey says she drove past the fire at Industrial Metal Shredder and saw black smoke and smelled a 'burnt rubber kind of chemical paint smell.' (Seine River Bonivital Residents Association)
"We've had people complain to us saying that on the worst days, they get burning eyes, burning throat from the smells that are coming off of this shredder."

Trickey said the provincial government approved an environmental licence for the shredder in 2008, despite numerous concerns from the public, and the shredder began operating in August.

Concerned residents through the Seine River Bonivital Residents Association have opposed Industrial Metal Shredder's operations and lobby governments to get the business out of the area.

Trickey said people are worried that there may be another explosion there, similar to the one at Speedway International, a fuel plant in St. Boniface, in October 2012.

Residents are also concerned there could be a rail explosion nearby, as there are two active rail lines near the shredding business, she added.

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