Local, area, regional fire departments battle recycling facility fire

Published 12:23 pm Monday, August 7, 2023

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It took a collaborative effort to extinguish a fire at a recycling facility Sunday.

Fire departments across Orange, Hardin and Jasper counties worked together to extinguish the fire while dealing with an excessive heat warning and heat index numbers between 108 and 116.

The fire occurred at J3 Recycling Center in Evadale at approximately 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

Black smoke billows from the J3 Recycling Center fire Sunday. (Photo courtesy Orange County ESD No. 4 Facebook)

Vidor Fire Chief Robert Smith said his department responded as mutual aid.

“Heat was a big factor. The heat index was about 112, I believe,” Smith said.

An ambulance was on scene and firefighters took time to rehab with breaks, water and Gatorade, taking it “slow and trying not to get overheated,” Smith added.

Orange County Emergency Service District No. 4 was also on hand to assist. According to information from ESD No. 4, the multi-agency operation was able to get the fire under control and contained, and ESD No. 4 returned to service at 6:41 p.m.

Responding agencies included: Evadale Volunteer Fire Department, Kirbyville FD, Roganville FD, and Buna FD from Jasper County, Vidor FD, Bridge City FD and Orange County ESD No. 4 from Orange County, Kountze FD from Hardin County, Texas A&M Forest Service, Texas Strike Team and EMS services.

A person who answered the phone at J3 Metals Recycling Center said there were no injuries and company officials are investigating the fire at this time.

— Written by Mary Meaux