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Water plant fire stirs up foul odor in hagerstown

March 12, 2003|by MARLO BARNHART

Smoke with a smell described by fire officials as "unsavory" blanketed parts of Hagerstown Tuesday night when a fire broke out in the pelletizer machinery at the Hagerstown Water Pollution Control plant off Frederick Street.

The original call for the fire came in at 10 p.m. at Synagro, formerly known as Wheelabrator, which is the contracted operator of the city's pellet plant at 1 Clean Water Circle.

As firefighters arrived, more calls began coming in to Washington County Fire and Rescue Communications from residents reporting the smell of smoke in their homes.

While some firefighters remained on Clean Water Circle, others were sent to calls on North Mulberry Street, South Cleveland Avenue and the 300 block of Radcliffe Avenue to check out the reports of smoke.

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All were cleared within minutes without finding any fires at those locations, fire officials said.

The fire in the pelletizer was reported out at around 10:35 p.m. but units remained at the scene.

In the city's sewage treatment process, some of the waste goes to the landfill while some is turned into fertilizer at the city pellet plant.

- Marlo Barnhart

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