Police urge public to limit time breathing air coming from Becker recycling plant fire

Police urge public to limit time breathing air coming from Becker recycling plant fire Photo: Peter Naat'áaníí Nez

Updated: February 19, 2020 05:29 AM

UPDATE: As of 8:30 p.m. fire crews were still on scene battling the fire. They planned to be there through the night according to the Becker Police Department. Assistance has also been requested from the 55th Civil Support Unit Team of the National Guard and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. 

A debris fire at a recycling plant in Becker was reportedly giving off a funky smell Tuesday morning.


According to the Becker Police Department, a passerby reported seeing a fire at the Northern Metals Recycling Plant at about 2:30 a.m.

Police said the fire appeared to have started "in a debris pile of crushed up vehicles" in the plant's lot.

Authorities said damage appeared to have been confined to the debris pile.

No one was hurt in the fire and no structures were damaged.

With the heavy smoke from the fire and numerous questions about air quality, police urged people to take precautions and limit their time breathing in the air as officials tested the air quality. Tuesday evening, police advised the following:

  • Restrict your time outside where you may breathe in air coming from the direction of the plant,
  • If you have respiratory issues, stay indoors or in a well-ventilated area,
  • If you feel ill, see a doctor or call 911 if you have trouble breathing.

Police said they will continue to post additional information on Facebook as it becomes available.

The Becker Police Department reported fire crews remained at the scene Tuesday night to investigate and put out hot spots.

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Rebecca Omastiak

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