Update @ 7:43 p.m.:
According to Paramedic Engineer Matt Corelli with the Murrieta Fire Department, the fire was first reported at 4:40 p.m. this afternoon.
Upon entering the building, firefighters discovered that a small “skid steer”-type tractor was on fire in the open warehouse portion of the building, and was producing a heavy amount of smoke, Corelli said.
The fire was knocked down several minutes later at 5:06 p.m. and was contained to the tractor and some of the building’s contents.
All five of the Murrieta Fire Department’s fire engines responded to the incident along with a Battalion Chief. In addition, the Riverside County Fire Department / Cal Fire provided assistance with an additional fire engine and one ladder truck.
In all, a total of 22 firefighters responded to the incident.
Several employees that were in the front office area of the building when the fire broke out evacuated safely prior to firefighters’ arrival, Corelli said. No injuries were reported.
There was no structural damage from the fire, but there was heavy smoke damage throughout the building, Corelli said. The damage was estimated at $35,000, but had a potential to cause over $1,000,000 in damages if it hadn’t been knocked down quickly, he said.
The exact cause of the fire remains under investigation, but it appears to have been started by some welding equipment, Corelli said.
Date Street was closed to traffic between Jefferson and Madison Avenues until emergency vehicles left the scene. The Riverside County Office of Environmental Health was also called to the scene due to the potential for hazardous water runoff from the recycling business, Corelli said.
Original: A fire broke out in a recycling facility today in Murrieta.
According to SWRNN reporter/photographer Joe Fanaselle, dark, pungent smoke was seen billowing out of the SA Recycling building located at 41400 Date Street in Murrieta.
The blaze, which sent employees spilling into the parking lot, was sparked shortly before 5 p.m.
Five Murrieta Fire Department engines responded to the fire, along with engine and ladder truck support from the Riverside County Fire Department.
Fire crews used a saw to break into a garage at the building in order to make entry. Reports from the scene suggest the fire was knocked down shortly after 5 p.m.
According to radio transmissions, it may have been a tractor inside the facility that was burning, however, only smoke was visible from the outside.
Traffic has slowed on Jefferson Avenue with motorists straining for a look and Date Street remains closed at the time of this post.
This is a developing story. Stay with SWRNN for more details as they become available.