The fire is out, and now the cleanup begins at the Bay County incinerator. Officials are taking a step back to assess the damage.
Sunday night, the Bay County night sky was lit up with flames, as firefighters battled a blaze at the incinerator. Crews worked into the night and into Monday morning to put out the blaze. The scene was a bit more quiet Friday, but the fire's aftermath remains.
"We've been dealing with a lot of water, a lot of cleanup...while we're doing all that we're trying to assess all the systems in our facility to see where we are," said Joe Tannehill, Jr., Managing Director at ENGEN, LLC, the company that runs the incinerator.
A crew of about 40 is helping with the cleanup. Tannehill says the estimated time table for cleanup is about 3 weeks. He's optimistic that the facility fared better this time around than the last time a fire tore through the facility in 2008.
"The damage was mostly contained to this refuse building," Tannehill said. "While we did get some heat up into this boiler building, we were able to bring down both boilers this time in a controlled manner."
Tannehill says while the building is being repaired, all trash will be diverted to the Steelfield landfill. That's something they were already prepared for.
"We had an outage planned, which we do every year in the spring," Tannehill said. "The plant comes down, and we do repairs to systems within the plant. We had an outage planned for March...we're going to start that outage now."
Because the outage was in the works, trash was set to be diverted to Steelfield during the process, which was set to begin March 1st. Now it'll be a few weeks earlier. As for the cause of the blaze, Tannehill is still searching for answers.
"Municipal solid waste is very unstable fuel for a waste energy facility," Tannehill said. "There are many causes of fires."
"We haven't been able to pinpoint what caused this one."
Tannehill says garbage pickup wont be affected by the fire.