Commissioner of Public Works Jay Card Jr. said Monday morning that the construction debris fire at the Recycling Center that sent flames as high as 80 feet into air was most likely was self-igniting.
After looking at videotape from closed circuit TV at the site, puffs of smoke could be seen at different intervals before the flames began to engulf the pile, Mr. Card said.
The commissioner speculated that there were piece of glass and mirrors in the pile, and with bright sunlight throughout the day, enough heat was created to trigger a fire that evening.
The dry weather of the last week or so also contributed to the cause of the blaze, he said.
The Shelter Island Fire Department responded at about 7:25 p.m. Saturday evening to the call of a raging fire at the Town’s Recycling Center.
Fire Chief Will Anderson said that flames were shooting high into the mild evening air, before fire fighters got the blaze under control.
There were no injuries, the chief said.
An hour after the fire started, thick sooty smoke enveloped the area.
The fire was in the area where construction debris was stored. Chief Anderson said there was no sign of arson.
“That’s the largest construction debris fire I’ve seen,” the chief said.
The Shelter Island Police Department was on the scene as well as an ambulance from the town’s Emergency Medical Services team.