Paper, plastics fuel 3-alarm fire at Port of Stockton

50 firefighters responded to the blaze fueled by pallets of paper, plastics and other recyclables

By Joe Goldeen
The Record, Stockton, Calif.

STOCKTON, Calif. —  A thick, billowy plume of black smoke visible for miles scarred an otherwise pristine blue sky over the Port of Stockton on Monday afternoon, caused by a stubborn, wind-blown fire at a recycling center.

No injuries were reported to workers, the public or any of the 50 firefighters that responded about 3:55 p.m. The three-alarm fire occurred at CenCal Recycling LLC along Port Road 22 south of West Washington Street. There also were no visible signs of structure damage, but some large equipment may have been burned. The blaze was fueled mostly by pallets of paper, plastics and other recyclables.

About an hour into fighting the fire, Stockton Deputy Fire Chief Brad Palmer said "a considerable amount of progress has been made." But Palmer said firefighters would remain at the scene for many hours, possibly overnight, as they break apart combustible materials to "get it completely extinguished."

Thousands of gallons of water was dumped on the fire from numerous hoses, including two mounted on aerial ladders extended above the flames. Firefighters were not only battling extreme heat from the active flames but also brisk winds keeping the fire moving through the recycling yard. Lodi firefighters, in Stockton for a joint training exercise, assisted in fighting the fire.

An employee of the business declined an opportunity to comment. Palmer said it was too soon to determine what caused the fire.


The Stockton Fire Department is working a fast moving 3 Alarm Fire at the Port of Stockton. Please avoid the area to allow emergency vehicles to freely and quickly move as needed.

Posted by Stockton Fire Department on Monday, April 22, 2019

Contact reporter Joe Goldeen at (209) 546-8278 or Follow him on Twitter @JoeGoldeen.


(c)2019 The Record (Stockton, Calif.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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