REDWOOD CITY (KCBS) – Investigators looking into a toxic scrap metal fire in Redwood City in December said it appears it may have been set by an arsonist.

The fire at Sims Metal Management, early on the morning of December 17, took hours to get under control, sent thick smoke into the surrounding area, and had health officials advising residents to stay indoors with their windows closed.

It was the second fire at the recycling facility, as a one-alarm blaze on November 10 burned for several hours, and a shelter-in-place was issued.

Now, although details of the investigation remain confidential, Redwood City police said there is a common consensus among investigators that the fire was intentionally set.

Authorities are still reviewing surveillance video from both inside and outside the facility.

Sims Metal Management spokesperson Melissa Cohen said they want answers just as much as the public.

“We are trying to understand what has caused both of these fires,” Cohen said. “It is very difficult to determine in a pile of scrap metal.”

Sims has been issued public nuisance citations by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, although any penalties have yet to be determined.


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