Huge fire at county trash plant in Doral ruled accidental by investigators

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The fire that ravaged Miami-Dade’s trash incinerator plant in Doral started as an accident, investigators with Miami-Dade Fire Rescue concluded in a memo released Tuesday.

The memo by county Mayor Daniella Levine Cava includes an investigative report stating the Feb. 12 fire that shuttered the privately run plant started near one of the conveyor belts that churn tons of trash daily to the incinerator, converting waste into energy, ash and exhaust.

“The most likely cause would have been a mechanical or electrical event,” investigator Capt. Gerard Forrester wrote in the report.

The plant, run by the national energy firm Covanta, remains shut down and the company last month laid off its roughly 65 employees.

READ MORE: The fight to extinguish Miami-Dade’s trash plant fire

In the report, Forrester wrote that investigators received a tip from someone claiming to know who set the fire. But county police dismissed the report, which was contradicted by video camera footage and other evidence.

Levine Cava wrote in her memo to county commissioners that her administration is preparing a recommendation on what to do about rebuilding or replacing the plant, which was processing about 40% of the county’s garbage.

She said the fire “brings special attention to the issue of solid waste management in the County. As such, my administration is looking at the spectrum of solid waste disposal options, including zero waste strategies,” she wrote.