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Lithium Ion Batteries

Rumpke workers are returning to work Thursday morning after a fire broke out overnight at a recycling center in St. Bernard, forcing them out of the building.

The fire was reported around 2:30 a.m. at the recycling center on Vine Street. Officials said the fire broke out in a paper storage bunker within the center.

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Multiple crews were called to the scene to extinguish the flames. Officials said the flames were quickly put out.

Officials said everyone in the building was safely evacuated and no one was injured.

“Our employees acted swiftly and appropriately to ensure safety and a quick response,” said Bridgett Biggs, area safety manager at Rumpke. “We are very thankful for the outstanding assistance from local fire departments.”

Recycling service will continue Thursday as usual, Biggs said.

Rumpke officials said they are working to educate people about what they put in their recycling bins to prevent situations like this. Officials said combustibles such as lithium ion batteries found in power tools and electronic devices, as well as propane tanks and pool chemicals can combust when compacted during the hauling or sorting process putting employees and equipment at risk.

Officials said crews will remain at the recycling center to monitor and investigate the situation and evaluate the damage.

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