FLOYD COUNTY, Ga. - Fire investigators believe someone set fire to a mountain of recycled cardboard at the Rome-Floyd County recycling plant Wednesday night.
The emergency call came just after 10 p.m. When firefighters arrived, they found flames leaping from the bundles of flattened cardboard boxes.
“Approximately 230 feet lengthwise and probably 50 feet wide and 12 feet long. The smoke basically covered the whole north Rome area, basically North Broad Street. The dangers we did have were to the exposed buildings. The radiant heat from the fire did make it a danger to these nearby apartment buildings
.,” said Rome-Floyd County Fire Department
Firefighters battled the blaze overnight before finally getting it under control early Thursday morning.
Neighbor Dwayne Jones watched the flames shoot into the air.
“It was probably 15 to 20 feet high. Everything was on fire. Fire trucks with ladders were above it.” said Jones.
The Rome-Floyd County public works manager showed Channel 2’s Tom Regan's security camera video, which showed a man carrying a lighted object around the back of the paper pile.
“He stops, and it appears he bends down. Fire has already been going 15 minutes further down. It’s easy to ignite and that appears to be what happened this time,” said Public Works Manager Michael Skeen.
Skeen said there was a similar fire at the plant two weeks ago. He said last summer, a half dozen suspicious fires happened in a period of less two weeks.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Rome-Floyd County Fire Department.