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3 charged in S. C. recycling plant fire

McClatchy Newspapers –

CAYCE, S.C. — The manager and owners of the Cayce, S.C., recycling operation that burned for several days have been arrested and charged with unlawful burning, according to Cayce police.

The men were responsible for starting the fire, which sent plumes of black smoke into the South Carolina skies for nearly 48 hours from June 29 through July 1, according to the Cayce Department of Public Safety.

Israel Saldana Rizo of Cayce, the manager of the recycling operation, was arrested July 3. Charles Lynn Goode of Lexington S.C., and Doug Kow Syng Jen of West Columbia, S.C., who own the businesses that occupy the property on Foreman Street, were arrested Friday. All three are charged with failing to follow city and state guidelines for burning. The maximum fines for those offenses are $1,092.

Earlier reports from Cayce identified the business as Global Plastics Recycling. The arrest news release called the company World Wide Recycling. More than one business has been listed at the address, according to Lt. J.S. Simmons of the Cayce Department of Public Safety.

Simmons said the company was burning pallets near its building. Businesses are required to notify city officials any time they plan to burn. The charges include burning without notice and knowingly setting a fire that is at risk of causing substantial damage.

Cayce officials had to call in Hepaco, a Charlotte, N.C.-based firm with expertise and equipment to handle tough-to-extinguish fires. Heavy equipment knocked down the walls of the 18,000-square foot concrete structure. Water and foam finally put out the fire, and little of the building remains on the site.

Cayce Mayor Elise Partin has said the company didn’t have insurance to cover the fire damage or the expense to the city for extinguishing the fire.

Cayce declined to release more details of its investigation, an indication that the arrests on code violations won’t be the end of the efforts to punish the property owners.

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