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Police suspect arson at Sims facility

Keywords: Tags  Sims Metal Management, Redwood City facility, scrap metal fire, scrap, shredder feed, shredded scrap, Daniel Fitzgerald

NEW YORK — A fire at Sims Metal Management Ltd.’s shredding facility in Redwood City, Calif., in December might have been started deliberately, according to police and fire investigators.

Redwood City Police detectives and the Redwood City fire marshal are investigating the Dec. 17 fire, which prompted city officials to contemplate closing the Redwood facility (, Dec. 24).

"Although details of the investigation remain confidential as to the exact cause of the fire, the belief that the fire may have been deliberately set is a common consensus among the police and fire investigative team," the Redwood City Police Department said in a statement Jan. 29.

"The police and fire investigative team continues their review of video footage taken from multiple locations within the Sims Metal facility, as well as video footage from other surrounding locations in an effort to develop potential leads," according to police.

The consensus is "consistent with our understanding of the suspicious circumstances of that incident," Sims told AMM Jan. 30.

The incident, which followed a similar fire Nov. 10 that began in a shredder feed stockpile, prompted city officials to "outline a number of conditions to follow in order to remain operating on port property over the next two months."

As a result, Sims agreed to staff the Redwood facility around the clock and "shred to the ground" to ensure that no unprocessed shredder feed stockpiles were left at the facility overnight.

"Regardless of the final outcome of the investigation, we at Sims want to remind the community that we remain committed to the Bay Area communities in which we operate, to safety, security and environmental stewardship at each of our Bay area facilities," it added.

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