Fire at scrap yard facility under investigation


A huge scrap yard recycling facility off 787 reopened Wednesday after a massive fire broke out Tuesday night.

Some workers returned to the NH Kelman Scrap Metal Yard on Euclid Street Wednesday. But even on a holiday, the investigation and clean up were still underway.

Business was not as usual on at the scrap yard with the NYS Office of Fire Prevention Control looking into what sparked the massive fire. Cohoes Fire Chief Joseph Fahd said half the building was operational with the other half shut down.

“Our city engineer, their engineer, will meet,” he said. “We told them we needed some structural studies done on the building.”

According to the chief, the fire was mostly contained to an addition of the main building. Kelman is a family owned operation that processes and recycles scrap metal at the facility.

“They recycle all kinds of stuff. That’s our issue. You never know what you’re getting ’til you get in there. Last night, the pile had magnesium with oxygen tanks, propane, and settling tanks.”

Which is what he said led to the explosions, and it wasn’t the first time the fire department had to respond to the scrap yard.

“We’ve had fires there numerous times, usually back in the yard with piles of stuff.”

Tuesday’s fire was the biggest one at Kelman’s since it’s been in the city. Fahd said the neighbors who live next door to the scrap yard don’t have to be worried. The NYS Fire Prevention Office monitored the air and found no issues.

But the heat was a concern for firefighters. The chief said they tried to rotate crews as often as they could with the extreme conditions. 

The meeting with engineers will take place Thursday morning at city hall.

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