A recent fire that emitted black smoke south of Albuquerque has been officially extinguished, with crews now focusing on detailing the aftermath and preparing for the cleanup process at the Atkore United Poly Systems Warehouse. The fire, which began around 2:40 p.m. near the Sunport area, was exacerbated by strong winds that spread the flames along the building's south side, causing significant damage.
The fire's origin has been traced back to an employee's car, which was situated near the scene. The investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing, and officials are working diligently to determine whether the fire originated within the vehicle or if external factors contributed to its ignition. The vehicle itself has been severely damaged by the fire, making the investigative process challenging.
One of the primary losses resulting from the fire was the destruction of the product manufactured and stored at the warehouse. This product, recycled plastic tubing used for burying utility lines, is made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a type of plastic. Due to the characteristics of burning plastic, such as concealing smoldering pockets beneath the surface, firefighting crews are taking extra precautions to ensure that all potential hot spots have been completely extinguished.
Firefighters and emergency response teams utilized heavy equipment and trucks to fully suppress any remaining fire and eliminate potential hazards. While the fire resulted in elevated air pollution levels, a health alert issued in response has since expired, and both response teams and the city's Environmental Health Department have expressed confidence that there is no longer a threat to public safety. Air quality readings have returned to normal levels, with only minor concerns noted.
The cleanup process is now underway, and efforts are being made to assess and address the extent of the damage caused by the fire. The local community and authorities are eagerly awaiting the results of the ongoing investigation into the cause of the fire, which is expected to provide more clarity on the circumstances that led to the incident. As the investigation progresses and more information becomes available, further updates will be provided to the public.