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Late night fire destroys Bow Recycling Center

  • Emergency crews responded to a structure fire at a warehouse at 346 River Road in Bow Sunday night. The fire was reported around 11:30 p.m. and was knocked down after 2 a.m. Jay Health—Courtesy

  • Emergency crews responded to a structure fire at a warehouse at 346 River Road in Bow Sunday night. The fire was reported around 11:30 p.m. and was knocked down after 2 a.m. Jay Health / Courtesy

  • Emergency crews responded to a structure fire at a warehouse at 346 River Road in Bow Sunday night. The fire was reported around 11:30 p.m. and was knocked down after 2 a.m. Jay Health—Courtesy

Monitor staff
Published: 5/25/2020 2:07:53 PM

Emergency crews responded to a massive structure fire at the Bow Recycling Center at 330 River Road in Bow Sunday night. The fire was reported around 11:30 p.m. and was knocked down after 2 a.m.

Stanley Emanuel, president of the Bow Recycling Center got the call at 1:30 a.m. that the facility was on fire. He drove to Bow from his home in Laconia and arrived just as firefighters were bringing the blaze under control.

“It’s awful timing with COVID-19 and everything,” he said.

Emanuel already had called a structural engineer Monday to evaluate the damage to the building and contacted the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services to assess any necessary cleanup.

“We want to get up and running as quickly as possible,” Emanuel said. “We have a lot of commercial customers from the area who come here.”

The Bow Recycling Center receives construction debris and solid waste from large trash containers at area businesses, which is hauled in by contractors. The 30 River Road address is also home to Zero Waste and Recycling Services, which is one of the companies that hauls to the center. Zero Waste is owned by Emanuel and his brother Peter.

The Bow facility is not used for residential household recycling. The town of Bow uses curbside pickup single-stream recycling.

Firefighters accessed the town’s water system giving them plenty of water to fight the fire. No foam containing PFOAs was used, Fire Chief Mitchell Harrington said.

The 12,000-square-foot metal building burned from the inside and sustained substantial damage, Harrington said. The fire engulfed two excavators and a loader, while the heat from the flames warped some of the steel structural members and melted some of the steel siding.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Emanuel said the center was open Saturday but closed Sunday.

Harrington said the fire department will take pictures inside and outside of the building and will work with the Bow Police Department to interview nearby residents to see if they witnessed anything unusual in the area before the fire.

On Monday, crews were removing the charred contents of the building and hosing the pile of rubbish down with water to make sure nothing reignited. Harrington said that process was expected to be done by 3 p.m., when the scene would be cleared.

The property is across the street from the Merrimack Station power plant along the Merrimack River.

The blaze drew firefighters from Bow, Hooksett, Dunbarton, Pembroke, Hopkinton, Loudon, Chichester, Henniker and Concord. In all 55 firefighters helped extinguish the blaze.

Emanuel thanked all the firefighters who responded. In between phone calls from outside the facility Monday, he said he was trying to take it all in and figure out a way to get back to business.

“We’ve been here 20-plus years and this has never happened,” he said. “Obviously anything can happen.”

(Jonathan Van Fleet can be reached at jvanfleet@cmonitor.com.)



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