Fire under investigation at recycling plant in DeSoto County

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DESOTO COUNTY, Fla. – Fire crews worked a massive fire at a recycling plant in DeSoto County and now the state fire marshal is investigating.

WINK News confirmed the fire happened at Allied Recycling on US 17 in Arcadia. Crews were called to the blaze around 3 p.m. Sunday.

The manager of the plant told a WINK News crew he had reason to believe the fire was intentionally set. WINK News asked firefighters if they believed it was suspicious and were told they are still investigating.

Chester Johnson, the plant manager, says “As far as we know somebody intentionally set a fire. Our workers left yesterday (Saturday) little bit after 4 o’clock, the place has been locked up and nothing has been running since then. There’s no reason for it to have started so we have no idea at this point all we can do speculate.” He also says, “it’s a strange coincidence, plus there’s a big blue tank back there 30,000 gallons of water it holds to help… It was bone dry. And the pump, the switch was stuck to where the pump wouldn’t come on.”

Monday morning, fire crews remained at the plant monitoring the scene. They say flames shot hundreds of feet in the air and the flames were thousands of degrees under a stack of burning old cars. They brought in a brush truck to put out hot spots in the woods behind the property. DEP was also called in due to the potentially hazardous nature of the fire, but the fire department says that is routine given the size of the fire and the amount of smoke that was in the air.

Trust WINK News to bring you the latest as soon as we get it.

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