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Official: Backfiring forklift caused recycling center fire

May 7, 2019

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Fire investigators in Tennessee have concluded that a backfiring forklift caused a recycling center fire that resulted in evacuations and took two days to extinguish.

Knoxville Fire Department spokesman Capt. D.J. Corcoran told news outlets that the forklift backfired and shot a 3-foot-long flame into a pile of shredded paper.

Corcoran said people at the site used an extinguisher to try to put the fire out, but it blew the flames and spread the fire, causing it to get out of control quickly.

The fire was reported Wednesday afternoon and grew to 2 acres (0.8 hectare). Thick smoke resulted in the evacuation of about 100 homes.

It took firefighters more than two days to completely put out the flames.

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