UPDATE: Fire Service watches ‘hot spots’ in South Sound tire-fill fire

Firefighters attend to a smoldering mound of shredded tires, which was destined to be used as ground fill, in South Sound Thursday.

Monday, Sept. 24 update:

As of Sunday afternoon, the Cayman Islands Fire Service continued to monitor three hot spots in a pile of shredded tires in South Sound. While the fire service indicated Saturday that the fire was out, these spots continues to warrant attention Sunday.

The fire service indicated the spots had cooled and were contained within the stack, posing no threat to the surrounding area.

A check on the spots was scheduled for Sunday evening.

Saturday update:

A fire that had been smoldering in a pile of shredded tires in South Sound since at least Thursday was extinguished on Saturday, according to the Cayman Islands Fire Service.

The Fire Service stated that the seat of the fire had been dug out and was fully extinguished Saturday. Fire pumps at the scene have been returned to the fire station.

“At no time did the fire pose a danger to persons or property in the area,” the statement noted. It added that the site would be checked again on Sunday morning.

The owner of the property, at the rear of Vela Condos on South Sound Road, was using the recycled tire-derived aggregate for ground fill, according to a statement from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The material likely came from the George Town landfill, where nearly 6,700 metric tons (14.8 million pounds) of shredded tires have been produced since March 2017, when government contracted a private company to shred the tires and sell the resulting tire-derived aggregate to various developers.

Jim Schubert, the senior project manager for the government’s solid waste management system, said in July that about 5,000 metric tons of shredded tires have already been sold to Davenport Development to fill the site of a condominium the company built in South Sound.

The remaining 1,700 tons are expected to be sold to the Dart Enterprises Construction Company, or DECCO, as part of the Integrated Solid Waste Management Project, which aims to close Cayman’s current landfill and open a waste-to-energy plant.

A security guard at the entrance of the site where the fire occurred referred the Cayman Compass to Davenport Development director Paul Pearson. Mr. Pearson did not return calls from the Compass seeking comment about the fire.