Fire breaks out in paper-shredding truck parked at hospital

ST. GEORGE — Shredded paper burns hot and fast. When a paper shredder truck was reported on fire just before 7 p.m. Monday night at Dixie Regional Medical Center, local departments scrambled to bring the situation under control.

Smoke is visible at the top of a shredder truck after its contents were reported to be on fire. Fire personnel stand ready to take action if required. St. George, Utah, Jan. 30, 2017 | Photo by Ric Wayman, St. George News

“This evening we were dispatched to a reported structure fire here at the hospital,” St. George Fire Chief Robert Stoker said. “Upon our arrival we had a Shred-It truck that is out of Las Vegas, Nevada, area (that) was actually on fire.”

Stoker said the shredding mechanism malfunctioned, setting the paper on fire.

“What had actually happened is they had smoke inside the hospital,” Stoker said. “So that’s where we got the structure fire report.”

Smoke was entering into the hospital from the truck, Stoker said. He put out a general alarm which brings all the fire stations available to the scene. Four engines and a ladder truck responded.

“We were able to access the rear of the compactor and also the front where the shredder is,” Stoker said. “We were able to knock the fire down … but we still have some smoldering areas near the front of the compactor. The truck is almost completely full, so we’ll have to end up unloading that paper.”

Emergency crews responded quickly to the report of a fire at DRMC Monday night, where it was discovered that a paper shredder truck had caught fire. St. George, Utah, Jan. 30, 2017 | Photo by Ric Wayman, St. George News

Stoker said that the truck being so full was a good thing, as there was less room for oxygen to move around in the truck and feed the fire.

He added that crews attempted to move the truck, but air lines had been melted, rendering the truck unmovable.

The streets department was bringing a loader down to help unload the truck. Another truck from the Las Vegas company was en route to pick up the paper from the damaged truck.

“We’re just pleased that no one has been harmed,” Intermountain Healthcare Southwest Region Communications Director Terri Draper said. “No one has been placed in harm’s way. We have great help from our partner the St. George Fire Department and from the Shred-It company.”

Stoker said the truck sustained substantial damage and once emptied would be towed from the scene. No damage was reported to the hospital and no injuries were reported.

Units from the St. George Fire Department, the St. George Police Department, and Gold Cross Ambulance responded to the scene, assisted by DRMC security personnel led by Emergency Management Program Manager Steve Ikuta.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews | @NewsWayman

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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  • Proud Rebel January 31, 2017 at 10:54 am

    The question needs to be asked; Was there any unshredded product in there? Is there now some sensitive information out somewhere? Even with a bit of fire damage, this could provide some identification information.

  • .... January 31, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    anything from Hillary Clinton in there ?

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