Officials: Fire at Becker recycling facility extinguished

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Officials say a fire that burned for several days this week at a Becker recycling facility has been extinguished.

The Becker Police Department said in a news release Saturday that private firefighters had put out the fire at Northern Metals Recycling and that crews were expected to leave the scene Sunday morning.

A passerby reported seeing the fire at 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, and it took firefighters two days to get the blaze under control.

On Friday the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency shut down operations at Northern Metals facilities in Becker and north Minneapolis until both sites meet safety requirements, which include safe storage of metals and cleaning up the area around the fire.

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Several air quality tests have been taken in the area of the fire, but no toxic particulates have been detected thus far. Real-time air monitoring devices show that air conditions around Becker were similar to the Twin Cities on Saturday.

The MPCA obtained samples to be tested for volatile organic compounds and metals, but they have yet to be analyzed. A decision on whether to analyze the samples and conduct future air quality tests will be made on Monday, according to the release.

The State Fire Marshal continues to investigate the cause of the fire.