Crews respond to fire at Milwaukee recycling plant

NOW: Crews respond to fire at Milwaukee recycling plant

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Crews are responding to a fire at a recycling plant in Milwaukee Wednesday, May 31.

Heavy smoke can be seen near Milwaukee Recycles on Mount Vernon Avenue.

Fire Chief Aaron Lipski says "various plastics and rubbers" are burning, along with ordinary combustibles like paper and cardboard products. 

"The toxicity of that is a concern," Chief Lipski said during a press conference Wednesday evening. He said hazardous materials teams are on scene taking air sampling.  

Chief Lipski suggests those in the area shut their windows and run air conditioning instead, if possible, and to avoid the area west of the recycling plant. 

He said he anticipates crews will be fighting the fire past nightfall Wednesday. 

No injuries to civilians or firefighters have been reported. 

In a statement Wednesday evening, the Department of Public Works (DPW) said staff discovered the fire around 1:45 p.m. in the paper storage bunker. A fire suppression system was activated, and the staff called 911. They say all personnel were safely evacuated. 

DPW said, "once the fire is contained, and the building is given an all clear, our operator will assess the full extent of the damage and its expected impact on the operations."

They say at this time, Milwaukee residents should continue with their normal recycling practices.

This is a developing story. Stick with CBS 58 for updates on-air and online.

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