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 Tuesday 6 November 2018 02:30:00 AM




Fire of undetermined origin began inside RecologySF Transfer Station building on Tunnel Ave. This fire produced a great amount of chemical smelling smoke. Neighbor's later complained of inadequate emergency notification, by the City and RecologySF, and inadequate follow up communications. The fire was first fought by Brisbane Fire Dept/North Counties Fire Dist., but not fully extinguished. Then RecologySF staff called SFFD. who responded to take over, and worked the stubborn fire for many more hours all day. Not only were nearby neighbors impacted by the smoke, but due to unusual lack of ocean winds, the smoke drifted west and impacted many more neighborhoods than it would have otherwise. Again, news reports were inadequate about telling people how to protect themselves, particularly seniors, pregnant women, the very young, and those with impaired immune systems. SFFD has not responded to my request for information on their investigation incident report. RESULTS NOTES: A) RecologySF has held a community meeting during which they advised us of their efforts to identify better ways to get the most helpful safety information our to the community (people don't all use the same methods to get their info). On behalf of the Little Hollywood Improvement Committee, Tony Verreos suggested that RecologySF use a system similar to PG&E for telephone emergency notification, in addition to emails, and text messaging. As well as asking SFPD to broadcast from a police patrol car if necessary to tell people what it happening, and what to do. B) Recology is committed to funding a non-profit who is working to build an effective emergency communications network. C) RecologySF also told us they are committed to spending approximately $400,000 to install a new fire suppression system in addition to the water system that currently protects their buildings. This fire fighting foam system (another idea from the Little Hollywood Improvement Committee) will be controlled by an infra-red detection sensor system which we understand will scan the Transfer Station building automatically, and is capable of detecting a heat build up before a human would notice it or see smoke. The system them applies foam to smother the heat source which should prevent a fire, or put one out. D) RecologySF advises us that they visually inspect loads dumped, on a sampling basis, meaning they cannot inspect every load. Further, though it is illegal for people to dump certain items like volatile batteries, people do it. The inability to assure 100% compliance to the law, means these fires are likely to happen from time to time, whether due to spontaneous combustion or other source. We think RecologySF is taking a step to modernize now, and we appreciate that. NOTE: The northern CA wildfires began the day after this fire, and that massive smoke then over shadowed this event, but the seriousness of this smoke toxicity was never addressed by SFFD or BAAQMD. We understand that someone has sued RecologySF over this event (we don't know who or how many). The Little Hollywood Improvement Committee proposed that Recology contact residents to offer them an industrial safety inspection of their home or business, and depending on the results, then offer to remediate at RecologySF's expense. No report on whether they are taking that advice.

Location Name:

269 Tunnel Ave, San Francisco, CA 94134, USA


Displaying 1-4 of 4 results.

 09:11 Mar 15 2019

Name: Rachel Cheng, SFDPH Solid Waste Program Local Enforcement Agency (LEA)
SFDPH Solid Waste Program LEA performs monthly inspection at RecologySF to ensure the solid waste facility operates within the solid waste regulations. Inspection reports are available on CalRecycle's website: Note that 12/27/2018 LEA report included an attachment of an incident investigation report prepared by Recology reporting relevant information about the fire incident occurred on Nov 6, 2018.

 17:46 Mar 13 2019

Name: Tony Verreos
The SFFD webpage does not allow the easy free inspection of reports like the Building Dept. does. The Mayor should consider making these reports available online as public information without charge. It would be helpful for the community to hear from both SFFD about why it was so difficult to put out this fire which RecologySF reported as not producing much flame, but plenty of smoke. And we would appreciate hearing from the SFDPH & BAAQMD about a) how residents can protect against breathing toxic pollutants (maybe keep appropriate masks on hand?), and b) what testing is routinely done, and which toxins were present in that testing? Don't people have a right to know?

 07:59 Mar 11 2019

Name: Rosene Salmo, Bay Area Air Quality Management District
The Air District received and investigated two air quality complaint for the Recology fire on 6/8/2018.

 07:41 Mar 11 2019

Name: Rosene Salmo, Bay Area Air Quality Management District
The Air District Inspector was informed about this complaint.


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