Fire officials in North Knoxville have declared the Fort Loudon Waste and Recycling Center fire “under control”; the evacuation order that had been in place since yesterday has been lifted.
Knoxville Fire Department spokesman DJ Corcoran said the fire had been contained as of 5 p.m. Eastern Time yesterday, but crews had to knock down a large building on the site as part of their firefighting efforts. That one building occupied about an acre of land and housed shredding equipment used in the recycling process. “They had to knock it down in order to get water to underneath the roof,” Corcoran said, explaining the roof had sort of an umbrella effect on the water being sprayed in. “It’s just running off. It wasn’t getting where it needed to get.”
Fire crews using three aerial fire trucks around the facility used about 180,000 gallons of water overnight in fighting the blaze. The fire crews worked in shifts throughout the night. And a spokesman for Norfolk Southern Corp., which has rail lines nearby, said today it had “blocked off a small section of our track that is in close proximity to the fire.” They also rerouted trains and stopped traffic in the area to accommodate fire and emergency vehicles needing to access the site.