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Recycling company that owns burned Phoenix facility has history of centers catching fire

12 News has learned Friedman Recycling has a history of fires at their facilities.

PHOENIX — Phoenix Fire officials said they expect to finish cleaning up after a massive six-alarm fire at the recycling plant in Central Phoenix by Monday night or Tuesday morning. 

The fire which broke out at Friedman Recycling on Saturday night was the largest response in Phoenix Fire Department history. A spokesman said the department expects to turn the property and cleanup back over the Friedman Recycling by Tuesday morning. 

But 12 News has learned Friedman Recycling has a history of fires at their facilities.

The same recycling yard near 35th Avenue and Lincoln Street burned in 2011. At the time, firefighters said it had burned multiple times before that.

RELATED: Fire crews extinguishing last hotspots after Phoenix recycling yard fire prompts 'largest response' in fire department's history

A Friedman facility burned in Tucson in 2009. There have been other fires reported in El Paso and Albuquerque.

Friedman Recycling refused to answer any questions about those fires.

Instead, a spokesperson sent a statement: 

"As you are aware, there was a fire at our Phoenix recycling facility on Saturday. We are very thankful that no one was injured, and the Phoenix Fire Department was quick to respond. Even though our plant is damaged, our service infrastructure remains intact and we are open and servicing every single customer today. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined by the Phoenix Fire Department." – Morris Friedman, President of Friedman Recycling.

Fires at recycling plants and scrap yards happen almost every year. Here are some of the biggest of the last six years:

  • In August of 2015, there was a fire at 32nd Avenue and Broadway, not far from the Friedman Recycling fire.
  • A month later in September of 2015, there was a massive recycling fire at 19th Avenue and Broadway. Huge oil tanks caught on fire, burning thousands of gallons of oil.
  • In 2016 there was a fire near 35th Avenue and Broadway. A metal recycling business caught fire. 
  • In April of 2018, a cardboard recycling plant at 15th Avenue and Jefferson caught fire. That became a two-alarm fire that sent a huge cloud of smoke in the air, visible for miles.
  • In May of 2019, a recycling plant near 44th Street and Winslow caught fire. the building's roof collapsed because of it. 100 firefighters responded that day.
  • In June of 2020, a pile of recycling materials caught fire at I-17 and Buckeye. 
  • In April of 2021, a recycling yard at 30th street and Madison caught fire.

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