Blaze breaks out at Redwood City metal facility where 2007 scrap fire occurred

A fire at a Redwood City metal shredding facility was extinguished Monday morning and shelter-in-place orders were lifted.

The fire was reported around 1:20 p.m. Sunday at Sims Metal Management at 699 Seaport Blvd., where an outdoor pile of scrap recyclables burned. The facility shreds car parts and metal pieces.

The fire was controlled around 8:30 p.m. Sunday and was extinguished at 6:10 a.m. Monday, a fire dispatcher said. No injuries were reported.

The smoke created by the fire prompted authorities to issue health advisories for residents in southern San Mateo County, parts of Santa Clara County and southern Alameda County.

Alerts issued by the Redwood City and Palo Alto fire departments advised residents to stay inside and keep windows and doors closed. The advisory was lifted around 6:20 a.m. Monday, Palo Alto police said.

Bay Area Air Quality Management District spokeswoman Lisa Fasano said there were high levels of particulate matter in the atmosphere Sunday, but that those levels had “dropped significantly” Monday.

She said the smoke was trapped close to the ground Sunday because of an inversion layer, a weather occurrence in which temperature increases with elevation rather than vice versa. In April 2007, another scrap fire occurred at the same facility, and a follow-up report by the air district found that high levels of chemicals, such as benzene and styrene, had been released. Fasano told KPIX (Ch. 5) that the facility had received a public nuisance violation related to the 2007 fire.

The air quality district is investigating the effects of the fire. “They are assessing the situation,” Fasano said.

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