Small fire doused at ex-VIM facility

The Baugo Township Fire Department responded to a small fire Sunday at Soil Solutions, formerly the VIM Recycling wood grinding operation.

Posted on March 7, 2012 at 12:00 a.m.

Baugo Township firefighters responded to a minor fire Sunday at Soil Solutions, the wood grinding operation formerly operated by VIM Recycling.

Baugo Township Fire Chief Chad Carey described it as a “very small fire” and said Tuesday that fire officials, called around 6:40 p.m. Sunday, left it to Soil Solutions to douse. The fire was centered in a pile of wood chips, but Carey said the cause was listed as unknown.

Baugo Township firefighters responded to a call to Soil Solutions on Feb. 12 about steam emanating from a pile of ground mulch. A company rep said at the time that heat and steam are typical as mulch decomposes.

The facility, located west of Elkhart on Old U.S. 33, has come under intense scrutiny, particularly when operated as VIM Recycling, stemming from complaints about dust and other emissions into adjacent neighborhoods. A 2007 dust explosion at the plant killed a VIM worker and caused a massive blaze and the complex, bought out by Soil Solutions last year, remains the focus of a federal lawsuit filed by neighbors.

Carey said Baugo Township firefighters have toured the facility under the new operators and that Soil Solutions officials seem to be intent on resolving past issues. The facility was largely rebuilt after the 2007 fire.

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