Northern Metals faces fire safety code violations in Minneapolis

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Minneapolis fire safety inspectors on Wednesday visited the Northern Metals Recycling facility at 2800 Pacific Ave. N., along the Mississippi River, and "found numerous fire code violations," according to internal city emails obtained by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS.

After the Northern Metals fire started in Becker, Minneapolis City Councilwoman Lisa Goodman wrote an email to city fire inspectors, environmental services, Mayor Jacob Frey and Fire Chief John Fruetel.

In her email regarding the Minneapolis facility, Goodman said, "I don't need to remind you this site is on the Mississippi River and very close to homes and businesses, a fire in their mound of used cars and metal parts could be catastrophic for our city."

Within two hours, Patrick Hanlon, director of Minneapolis Environmental Programs, wrote an email back to Goodman to reassure her inspections were happening.

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"I requested Inspector Cervantes leave what she is doing and to head to the site right now," wrote Hanlon. "We are in close contact with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency as well."

An hour later, Brad Schmoll, manger of Minneapolis Fire Inspection Services, wrote an email to Goodman and Hanlon that stated the city has "issued numerous fire code violations relative to fire vehicle access to the recycling yard, water supply and immediate reduction in metal recycling piles."

Frey issued this statement to KSTP:  

"Northern Metals' regular disregard for the environment and its neighbors' health has been on full display this week. It has never been more clear that Minneapolis was right in pushing to shut down their shredder operations in our city."

KSTP reached out to Northern Metals but has not yet received a response.