Stafford Transfer Station reopens after serious fire

By Lauri Voter - Staff Writer
Stafford - posted Fri., Jan. 11, 2013
Stafford Transfer Station personnel, including (l-r) Darien Irish and Richard Deary, are available to provide instruction to residents as the facility recovers from damage caused by a serious fire. The main building, in the background, has been fenced off and will need to be demolished. Photos by Lauri Voter.
Stafford Transfer Station personnel, including (l-r) Darien Irish and Richard Deary, are available to provide instruction to residents as the facility recovers from damage caused by a serious fire. The main building, in the background, has been fenced off and will need to be demolished. Photos by Lauri Voter.

The Stafford Transfer Station, which was heavily damaged by a fire on Jan. 2, has reopened to the public for the purpose of depositing household trash and recyclables, with the exception of commercial trash, which cannot be accepted at the site, due to its present condition as a result of the fire. Public Works Office Manager Roger Delpian said that the fire was initially discovered and reported late in the evening on Jan. 2 by a public safety officer who was refueling at the fueling station, which is based on the premises. No one was injured, but the fire destroyed the main transfer station building, said Delpian, as well as three transport vehicles, including a newer truck. A transport trailer was also destroyed.

The site of the fire – the main building – is fenced off, and the building will have to be demolished, said Delpian, who added that an insurance claim has been filed. “We don't know how long it will be before it is back up and running,” said Delpian.

In the meantime, transfer station employees are providing instruction to residents as they deposit trash, and are removing the residential trash and recycles via payloader to an area in back of the building, from where it is then transported. Foreman Richard Deary said that transfer station personnel are working through the situation on a day-by-day basis.

Currently, officials are trying to make arrangements so that commercial waste can be dropped off at other facilities. “We are trying to regroup and be open at the same time. We want to be open,” said Deary, who also thanks residents for their understanding, and asks people to remain patient as personnel endeavor to work through the situation. He said that the main structure, including equipment and tools stored within, was a total loss. Deary also said that personnel are now working in a “tight area,” and precautions are in place for safety's sake.

In a Jan. 9 public communication, residents were advised that the station currently cannot accept any commercial, demolition or construction material. Also, residents who bring their children with them when using the transfer station are asked to keep their children inside their vehicles at all times.

The swap shed is now closed, due to its proximity to rerouted traffic, said Delpian.

Stafford Fire Marshal Thomas Finch said that the investigation of the fire was closed on Tuesday, Jan. 8. Finch said that the fire appears to have originated in the basement and compressor room, but the area is too heavily damaged to pinpoint an exact cause. The cause of the fire has been categorized as undetermined. Finch said the state fire marshal is also compiling a report.

The Stafford Transfer Station is located at 80 Upper Road. Its hours of operation are Wednesday through Saturday, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.


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