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For Immediate Release
December 18, 2013

Media Contacts
Sheri Costa-Batis
Public Communication & Engagement Manager

Redwood City Firefighters Extinguish SIMS Metal Fire and
Redwood City, County, and State Authorities Quickly Move Into "Post-Fire" Response

Redwood City Officials Meeting with Sims Today to Determine Immediate Actionable Fire Prevention Measures Until Fire Investigation Finalized

Redwood City, Calif. - While yesterday's second two alarm fire at Sims Metal, a metal recycling facility located at 699 Seaport Boulevard in Redwood City, is under investigation to determine cause, Redwood City officials are making fire prevention at the metal recycling yard top priority. Fire Chief Jim Skinner will be meeting today with Sims' officials to determine immediate actionable items to prevent a future fire that impacts the air quality of Redwood City residents, as well as residents from neighboring Santa Clara County and Alameda County.

Yesterday's fire was initially reported as a "small explosion" at approximately 1am, and fire crews immediately raised the level of response to a "structure fire," increasing the level of resources to combat the fire. Redwood City firefighters got the blaze under control (kept from spreading) by 7:30am, and fully extinguished the fire by 10:15am. There were no injuries or fatalities.

The County of San Mateo Office of Emergency Services encouraged residents to use general caution and close their windows if they experienced any odor from the fire. The Bay Area Air Quality Control Board (BAAQCD) confirmed that "particulate matter" was higher than usual as it was the 10th consecutive Spare the Air Day, and the fire more than likely contributed to levels beyond expected particulate matter.

The City's directive to Sims to immediately employ additional fire prevention measures while the full investigation is conducted was in response to the fact that yesterday's fire was the second recent fire at Sims Metal. The first was a two alarm fire on November 10, 2013. Last week, BAAQCD cited Sims a "public nuisance" citation for the November 10th blaze, and anticipates another "public nuisance" fine for yesterday's fire.

"This is the second fire in approximately five weeks," states Mayor Gee. "As a City, we are very concerned, and protecting our immediate and regional community is an absolute priority for the Redwood City team."

Since the November 10, 2013 fire, Sims has reportedly collaborated with regional authorities such as the BAAQCD, Regional Water Board, and the San Mateo Environmental Health Department to implement measures for fire prevention such as reducing stockpile size, improving fire breaks, and implementing infrared monitoring of stockpiles. Despite these efforts, with the second fire in approximately five weeks, the City is concerned about the impact on the broader community.

Residents of San Mateo County are encouraged to sign up for two emergency notification systems. Code Red is a voice mail emergency response service managed by Redwood City Police and Fire. Residents can sign up by visiting the Code Red Web page. San Mateo County also has an emergency response alert system called SMC Alert. Residents can learn more about how to receiving emergency cell phone texts from the County alert system by visiting the SMC Alert Web page.

To learn more about the fire and the post-fire response, please call Sheri Costa-Batis at 650.780.7305.


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