The Oak Bluffs transfer station is set to reopen Thursday following a fire earlier this week that damaged the building.
Oak Bluffs fire chief John Rose said the Island Investigation Team found the source of the fire was a pile of construction debris inside the transfer station. He said the cause was accidental.
The source of the fire was captured on a surveillance camera, the chief said.
An initial review by the engineer determined the building to be structurally sound, Mr. Rose said. The steel paneling needs to be replaced “but that’s all cosmetic,” he said. Much of the damage was confined to under the roof line. Structural engineers and insurance adjusters surveyed the damaged transfer station on Wednesday for a final report, the chief said.
Mr. Rose said three or four different construction trucks dumped construction debris at the station over the course of the day on Monday. At night, the department of public works pushes all of the debris into one pile, making it difficult to determine what caught fire.
Volunteer firefighters from Oak Bluffs and Edgartown responded to the smoky blaze at 16 Pennsylvania avenue Monday evening. The road was closed for much of the night and smoke was seen as far away as Beach Road.
“It was basically a fully involved fire inside of the transfer station which caused heavy damage to the building and the structure itself,” Mr. Rose told the Gazette on Tuesday morning.
The fire drew a response from approximately 40 Oak Bluffs firefighters and EMTs, and 10 Edgartown first responders.
“It was brutally cold and everything was freezing up on us because the materials burning inside the facility were really hazardous. We didn’t know a lot of stuff that was in there and so we had a lot of heavy work to do,” Chief Rose said.
Due to the nature of the fire and the cold weather, Chief Rose said EMS did a lot of rehabilitation on firefighters throughout the night. Firefighters left the scene after hours of ventilating the building and putting out fires. They returned back to their respective stations around midnight.
The transfer station is managed by Bruno’s and is used by Tisbury and Oak Bluffs for handling municipal solid waste.
At the Tisbury selectmen’s meeting on Tuesday, town administrator Jay Grande said residential pickup would not be disrupted due to the temporary closure; plans were in place to haul trash to the Edgartown landfill until the Oak Bluffs station comes back online.