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Fire damages equipment at Crow Wing Recycling

A fire early Thursday caused extensive damage to a piece of shredding equipment at Crow Wing Recycling, Brainerd Fire Chief Kevin Stunek said. 

The Brainerd Fire Department responded to the recycling center, located at 714 Industrial Park Road S.W. in Brainerd, after a Brainerd Police officer discovered the fire at 12:22 a.m. The fire was in a machine that crushes and strips down vehicles, Stunek said.

Stunek said the fire appeared to have happened in a pile of plastic, rubber, cloth and other material separated from the metal of the cars. Denice Young, officer manager at Crow Wing Recycling, said the material that started on fire is referred to the fluff pile.

Young said an investigator would be at Crow Wing Recycling Friday morning. 

“At this point, we’re assuming it’s a total loss,” Young said. “A couple of components on the shredder need significant repairs at this point.”

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, Stunek said. 

“A spark must have got in there and started the pile on fire,” Stunek said. The fire caused an estimated $500,000 damage, he added. 

Firefighters were on the scene until 4:30 a.m. Thursday. No one was injured in the blaze. Crow Wing Recycling had closed for the day at 5 p.m. Wednesday and no one was at the business when the fire started.

Crow Wing Recycling was open for business Thursday morning, but Young said the business was only accepting material but not processing it.

MATT ERICKSON may be reached at or 855-5857.