Recycling Center Plans Quick Recovery From Fire

December 20, 2013

The longtime operators of an Urbana recycling center vow to quickly recover from a Thursday morning fire, and resume operations next week.

Ken Mathis and family have operated Mack’s Auto Recycling since 1955, and bought the Twin City recycling center on North Lincoln Avenue in the mid-90’s – which burned from roughly 1:30 to 8 a.m. Thursday.

Ken’s son Corey also works there.  He said employees are in a ‘mad scramble’, using some of the equipment from the other Mack’s location to get things up and running, and start accepting scrap metal again just after Christmas. 

Mathis estimates the blaze caused around $1-million damage, destroying most of their equipment.

"The main thing for us - we lost a semi-tractor, two of our end loaders that were parked inside, we lost two bailers, three shears, and possibly all the material we had bought before," he said.  "We're not sure what kind of condition that is, if that stuff melted, or it's okay.  And all the office equipment, computers, and that kind thing."

The Illinois State Fire Marshall continues to investigate the cause, but Mathis said that it could be tied to a heating unit in the center of the main building, judging from security camera footage. 

The company has all but ruled out foul play.  There were no injuries.

Eastern Prairie Fire Protection District Chief Mike Kobel said there’s lot of debris to sift through to determine that cause. 

Seven other rural departments assisted at the Mack’s location in unincorporated Urbana – including Carroll Fire Protection District, Edge-Scott, Bondville, Thomasboro, Cornbelt, Savoy, and Mahomet.

Story source: WILL