Nova Scotia

Fire lasting more than 19 hours shuts down East Hants landfill

The fire which began early Sunday burned until fire crews arrived at around 9 p.m.

There were approximately 20 tonnes of garbage in the facility at the time of the fire

The waste/recycling transfer station was the only building damaged. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

It took several fire departments to extinguish a weekend fire at the East Hants Waste Management Centre, which has left the facility closed.

The fire started early Sunday at a waste and recycling transfer station in Georgefield, N.S., near Upper Kennetcook.

Andrea Trask, the municipality's solid waste manager, said security footage captured the spark that ignited a pile of household garbage at approximately 1:40 a.m. The building wasn't staffed at the time and the fire wasn't noticed until much later.

Andrea Trask is the manager of solid waste for the Municipality of East Hants. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

Trask said a neighbour saw smoke coming from the building and notified her team. They inspected the site and called 911. 

She said multiple fire crews arrived on the scene around 9 p.m.

"One of the main doors had to be opened up," said Trask. "Then we used heavy equipment to bring material out into the yard here and we had to spread it out, and they [fire crews] had to suppress it that way."

The fire melted some walls. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

The fire was contained inside the transfer station during the 19-hour period.

The building holds both garbage and recycled material before it is moved to either the Cogmagun landfill in West Hants or Colchester County's recycling facility.

There were approximately 20 tonnes of garbage in the East Hants facility at the time of the fire.

Some of the materials that burned in last night's fire. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

The building was empty when the fire began and no one was injured. Due to significant damage, the building will remain closed until further notice.

It's still not clear what started the fire despite the fact its origins were caught on camera. Batteries and chemicals placed in household garbage have been known to cause fires in other facilities, Trask said.

The East Hants Waste Management Centre is shut down today after a fire that started early Sunday. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

The facility is closed to the public on Monday in order to clean up the site and to secure options for managing materials.

Curbside collection will proceed as scheduled.