10-foot-tall flames at Interstate Steel; fire crews assemble

Fire at Interstate Steel, St. George, Utah, Feb. 3, 2014 | Photo by Drew Allred, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — About 7:15 p.m. Monday, emergency crews responded to a structure fire at Interstate Steel and Supply, a metal recycling place on Red Cliffs Drive near the border of Washington City and St. George.

A garbage can next to a steel storage box in the parking lot was found to be on fire and quickly extinguished by fire crews, St. George Fire Chief Robert Stoker said. The storage box is used as the company’s office space and storage.

Fire at St. George Steel, St. George, Utah, Feb. 3, 2014 | Photo by Drew Allred, St. George News
Fire at Interstate Steel, St. George, Utah, Feb. 3, 2014 | Photo by Drew Allred, St. George News

Luckily, the enflamed garbage can didn’t spread to the storage box, which was a concern, Stoker said. However, there was minor damage to a fridge that was next to the garbage can plus the outside of the storage box incurred long burn marks. The garbage can was burned to the ground.

Traffic was stalled for a short period of time along Red Cliffs Drive while emergency crews cut the padlocks on the gate to gain access to the storage box.

The fire was initially reported by someone driving on Interstate 15 which runs adjacent to Interstate Steel. The witness reported that the fire was over 10-feet-high, Stoker said. Traffic on northbound I-15 also slowed for a short period of time.

The business was closed and no one was on scene, Stoker said. It is currently unknown how the fire started but the fire department will be doing an investigation, he said.

Fire at St. George Steel, St. George, Utah, Feb. 3, 2014 | Photo by Drew Allred, St. George News
Fire at Interstate Steel, St. George, Utah, Feb. 3, 2014 | Photo by Drew Allred, St. George News

The business does do cutting in the area the fire started in. “It could have been a spark that got in to the debris or something,” Stoker said. “It could have been a number of things that could have just been smoldering.”

The fire was extinguished quickly using a hose line from the front bumper of a fire engine. No fire hydrant was used. Water was pumped from the water storage tank in the fire engine, Stoker said.

This fire in particular had some kind of metal in it that was water reactive. It sparked a lot which caught the fire crew’s attention Stoker said. This occurs sometimes in fires that start near certain metals, he said.

For this reason crews were standing a good deal away from the fire to spray it down.

“It’s always a concern in these metal places that you get magnesium or some of these metals that are water reactive when they’re burning and they can explode pretty tremendously,” Stoker said.

The fire was completely extinguished but fire crews were still on scene at approximately 7:45 p.m. waiting for the business owner who was reported to be in route to the scene.

Email: dallred@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

Fire at St. George Steel, St. George, Utah, Feb. 3, 2014 | Photo by Drew Allred, St. George News
Fire at Interstate Steel, St. George, Utah, Feb. 3, 2014 | Photo by Drew Allred, St. George News

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6 Comments

  • DoubleTap February 4, 2014 at 8:40 am

    Former St. George Mayor McArthur’s place of business. Whatever happened to the City’s code enforcement investigation of this business? Nothing??…..oh, I see. What if code enforcement had actually investigated this business and found “safety violations”? Would it have uncovered a fire waiting to happen? We’ll never know….not surprising.

    • No Chit! February 4, 2014 at 11:07 am

      Just reading the article alone indicates there were multiple city code and safety (OSHA) violations. If the city doesn’t inspect and correct them, the OSHA should be notified. This business is located next to a FEDERAL INTERSTATE, a very busy frontage road and near peoples’ homes and businesses. Shutting down that interstate alone because of fire and/or other hazards could result in financial losses for businesses. Peoples’ lives and properties should not be at risk just because a former mayor’s business is allowed to violate city and safety codes. Those who allow those violations should be fired.

  • Truth February 4, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    You two should read an article and get the facts first. It clearly states “Interstate Steel.” Which is not McAurthur welding. They are not even close to each other. The article is also inaccurate with the business name as well. The metal recycler and the steel shop are two separate business. Get your facts straight before you single out someone.

    • Internet February 4, 2014 at 2:22 pm

      If you search for information on Interstate Steel, you find McArthur Welding as a contact listing. Maybe you need to get your facts straight.

      • Truth February 4, 2014 at 9:06 pm

        Ok, so a relative of Dan’s runs Interstate Steel. That is his problem exactly how? If there are code violations that got ignored because it was a McAurthur, that’s a problem. He’s not mayor now, so light up the torches and head up to city hall to run a small business under. It doesn’t change the inaccuracy of it still not being McAurthur welding (Dan’s actual place of business), and it still wasn’t Interstate Steel that had the fire.

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