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NIAGARA FALLS - Bits of discarded plastics stored outside on palettes behind the Tulip Corporation caught fire just after 3:30 p.m. Thursday. But despite the large fire and thick black smoke that could be seen for miles, the blaze was brought under control in about half an hour and did not spread inside into the Highland Avenue plant.
"It was a very hot fire. Plastic burns very hot," said David DeLange, company human resource manager. "Thank-God for the quick response of the Niagara Falls Fire Department. The fire department did a great job."
The plant at 3215 Highland manufactures molded plastics, such as plastic containers and bottles. DeLange said the discarded plastic called "purgings" is left over from the process, stored behind the plant and then reused.
"We think, perhaps that some hot purgings were transferred out there and somehow got the rest going," said DeLange. "It's just an unfortunate circumstance. It's never happened before, but I guess there is a first time for everything."
DeLange said the fire appeared to have been confined to the palette storage area and did not spread inside into manfacturing facility. No injuries were reported.
Police Superintendent John R. Chella said they saw the fire and huge cloud of black smoke at the Public Safety Building. He said the fire was quickly brought under control, but Fire Chief Thomas Colangelo said crews were forced to spend several more hours fighting the fire when it spread to dry brush at the rear of the plant.