San Martin garbage fire burns about 100 tons of material

CalFire

Crews from five area fire departments were up all night extinguishing a giant garbage fire at the San Martin Transfer Station Friday, according to authorities. 

The cause of the fire at the garbage and recycling facility at 14070 Llagas Ave. is undetermined, but investigators do not think it was intentional, according to CalFire Battalion Chief Brandon Leitzke. 

The blaze burned in a pit of garbage and recyclable materials inside a roughly 5,000-square-foot metal building that is open on two sides to allow heavy equipment to sort through the discarded items for processing, Leitzke said. About 100 tons of garbage burned, but the fire only caused “minimal” damage to the building itself. 

Crews from CalFire, the South Santa Clara County Fire District and the Morgan Hill, Gilroy and San Jose fire departments worked through the night Friday and into Saturday morning to extinguish the fire, Leitzke said. The fire started just after 7 p.m. Friday. 

A firefighter injured his wrist while fighting the fire, Leitzke said. That was the only injury resulting from the incident. 

The San Martin Transfer Station is owned and operated by Recology South Valley. That company’s general manager, Phil Couchee, said they had to close the site to drop-offs from the public for a couple days, but they expect to reopen by Monday afternoon. 

“The firefighters did an outstanding job to contain (the fire) and manage it,” Couchee said. 

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