Fire burns in storage pit at Tulsa’s trash-to-energy plant

Smoke billows from Tulsa’s trash-to-energy plant on Tuesday evening.

By JERRY WOFFORD World Staff Writer
Published: 1/11/2011  5:59 PM
Last Modified: 1/11/2011  9:48 PM

Smoke from a fire at Tulsa’s trash-to-energy plant was seen across the city Tuesday evening.

The fire at Covanta Energy’s Resource Recovery Facility, where the city of Tulsa sends most of its trash, was reported shortly before 5:30 p.m. by several passers-by who saw flames coming from the building’s second and third stories, Tulsa Fire Department spokesman Tim Smallwood said.

“A lot of smoke could be seen billowing from the top and sides of the roughly five- to six-story structure west of the smokestacks. This was seen from all over the city”

The fire was quickly contained to the pit where trash is held before it is burned in the trash-to-energy process, he said.

Firefighters “didn’t have any worries of it spreading,” Smallwood said.

Workers spread out the trash, and firefighters were “putting as much water on it” as they possibly could, he said.

A large amount of trash was in the pit, so Smallwood expected that it would burn for a while and that firefighters would continue to put water on it for a long time Tuesday night.