Investigators determine arson as cause of 2020 recycling plant fire in Richmond

NBC12 viewer photos of the massive fire at a Richmond recycling plant.
NBC12 viewer photos of the massive fire at a Richmond recycling plant.(NBC12 Viewer)
Updated: May. 5, 2021 at 5:35 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Investigators have determined the cause of a fire at a recycling plant in 2020 to be arson.

A massive blaze broke out at Material Management and Recycling, previously River City Recycling, on Feb. 18, 2020.

Officials said the cause of the fire in the 1200 block of School Street was arson and the investigation continues.

At the time, heavy, black smoke from burning tires could be seen from various points around the city.

There were 14 different companies that responded to the fire, with four people each. Henrico and Chesterfield firefighters assisted Richmond at the scene and also backfilled some of the city’s fire stations.

The owner of the location said the business is a scrap metal recycling facility and closed its doors on Dec. 31, 2019, when the lease ended.

Officials said there were many materials still on the property including tires, drums of oil, gas and car parts which contributed to the huge plume of black smoke.

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