The week got off to a hot start at the Teton County Recycling and Transfer Station as a fire broke out on Monday morning.
According to Teton County Sheriff's Office public information officer Mitch Golden, the first call came in at 8:02, with fire crews responding immediately.
The fire started in the transfer station’s garbage pile, with the specific cause still under investigation.
Teton County Facilities Supervisor Jay Millin could only guess as to what started the fire.
“It started in the large pile of trash, so if i were to guess it might have been ignited by lithium-ion batteries or another hazardous material,” said Millin.
Batallion Chief Kevin Bollar stated that by the time everyone had arrived there were 9 units on scene.
Bollar spoke to the strength of the building structure which wasnt a major concern for crews due to it being a steel building.
“The fact that it’s a steel building makes it a lot more resilient than if it were built out of other materials,” said Bollar.
“When crews first arrived there was a large dome of heat over the garbage pile, and we were in time to help save processing tools and equipment, to the relief of the Transfer Station employees,” said Bollar.
Bollar reported that a Transfer Station employee had left the building to go back to the office and then noticed smoke coming from the building when he looked back.
RAD curbside owner Dave Hudackso was out of town when he got the call that something was up, and now has to coordinate how operations will go with a damaged trash building.
“I definitely went into in triage mode when the call came through,” said Hudackso. “We’ll be able to make do.”
“Thankfully we have a good relationship with the county, this won’t stop us from picking up the trash for residents tomorrow,” said Hudackso.
Update 9/14/21 at 11:30 AM:
A Teton County press release provided to the TVN on the morning of 9/14 stated that while the cause off the fire is still under investigation, more details of the damage have been disclosed.
The Transfer Station's entire electrical system runs off a panel that was inside the damaged building, and that panel did not survive the fire.
The Transfer Station will therefore be closed until the panel is fixed. The county is eyeing Sept. 16 as a day where limited operations may resume.
In the meantime, RAD curbside will mitigate the temporary loss of the Transfer Station by hauling trash to Madison County, where it will be processed. RAD curbside pickups will therefore not be affected by the transfer station's closure.
Be sure to look for updates from the TVN as the cause of the fire becomes known.