Two recent fires occurred at Everett recycling plant before massive inferno

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

EVERETT, Wash. --  On the attack for two days straight, but the fire fight is still not over.

“We have hidden fires deep-seated in this material,” Everett Fire spokesman Eric Hicks said.

A mountain of recycling materials such as asphalt shingles, shake, cardboard and Styrofoam continue to burn.

“They have brought in equipment to pull the materials apart,” Hicks said.

Before Saturday’s inferno, firefighters responded to two small fires at the same recycling plant last week after composting material burst into flames.

“It was self-heating similar to a bark fire,” Hicks said.

Everett Fire says they were working on a plan with the company e Strategies to find a safer place to move the materials, but then Saturday’s fire happened.

“People lost their jobs, it’s sad,” said one Lake Stevens woman.

The woman says the cloud of smoke on Monday made it as far as her Lake Stevens home, about 10 miles from the Everett plant.

The Snohomish County Health District says they did not issue a warning because the air quality poses no immediate threat, still hard for some to believe.

“It choked us up, we were all coughing and hacking,” Andrea Jones said.

Health experts also say they inspected e Strategies in February to make sure the recycling plant was accepting only the materials they were supposed to.

“Everything was compliant with our regulations and what they said they would be doing there,” Jones said.

But now the Fire Marshal has to determine what the cause of the fire is and whether the company was in violation of their rules.

“We will know more when we are done with the investigation,” Hicks said.

The site has a troubled history. Before e Strategies, another company called Busy Beaver operated the recycling plant.

The Snohomish County Health District says Busy Beaver broke the rules because they stored asphalt shingles outside the plant. The county took the former tenant to court and Busy Beaver shut down in 2014.