Firefighters battle Redding dump blaze started by “unknown hazardous material”

REDDING — Firefighters spent about two-and-a-half hours knocking down and cleaning up after a fire erupted at City of Redding’s Solid Waste Transfer Facility Saturday morning, Dec. 1.

According to fire officials, the source of this weekend’s fire was traced to an “unknown hazardous material” someone had recently dumped at the facility, at 2255 Abernathy Ln.


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Seventeen City of Redding firefighters from four engine companies and a ladder truck were dispatched to the facility at 9:38 a.m., after receiving reports of the growing fire.

Despite the blaze activating the facility’s fire suppression sprinkler system, the flames quickly grew, spreading to another nearby pile of garage. Firefighters at the scene requested assistance from the city’s airport rescue firefighting apparatus, which was used to spray fire-retardant foam onto the flames.

After the blaze was brought under control, firefighters investigating the cause of the fire determined a City of Redding employee was operating a dump loader that came into contact with the unknown substance, fire officials later reported.

“To prevent accidental fire through the reactions of chemicals, please discern the difference when dumping solid household waste as compared to hazardous materials,” a fire official later said.

There were no reported civilian or firefighter injuries related to Saturday’s blaze.

SEE RELATED: Small oxygen cylinder causes explosion, big headache, for Redding Transfer Station

A similar incident happened last June, when a carelessly discarded pressurized oxygen cylinder caused an explosion that rocked the transfer station.

Although nobody was injured and June’s explosion did not cause any structural damage, the blast from the small oxygen cylinder was enough to rattle the nerves of both citizens and employees, who were in the area and inside the transfer station building when the blast occurred.


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Trevor Montgomery, 47, moved last year to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle, and Anza Valley Outlook; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 28 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.


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