A weekend fire in a recycling bin on Will Dodge Way caused thousands of dollars worth of damage to a nearby building's heating and air conditioning system.

A weekend fire in a recycling bin on Will Dodge Way caused thousands of dollars worth of damage to a nearby building's heating and air conditioning system.

Ashland police and fire departments are searching for a cause of a fire that appears to have started in a recycling bin at 4:10 a.m. Saturday on Will Dodge Way.

Police and fire crews arrived at the fire shortly after it was reported to find three melted plastic recycling bins on fire and damage to a nearby building's heating and air conditioning system. Ashland Fire and Rescue's Division Chief and Fire Marshal Margueritte Hickman reports that initial damage to the building's heating and air systems is estimated at $11,000. That total is likely to go up, as the investigation continues, Hickman said.

This is why commercial buildings are required to store trash bins at least 5 feet from the structure, unless the bin is near a noncombustible wall, she explained.

Currently investigators are going through a process of elimination to determine the cause of the fire.

"Anytime you have a garbage bin on fire at 4 a.m., it's not normal," said Hickman, "That's not a place we expect to see a normal ignition."

Anyone who saw anything in the alley Saturday morning that might help the case is asked to contact investigators. Call police at 541-482-5211 or the fire department at 541-482-2770.


— Mandy Valencia