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Clovis paper recycling center burns

clovisfireALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Clovis firefighters on Sunday night were battling a blaze at the Paper Recycling Depot on Curry Avenue, south of Mabry Drive.

Firefighter Joel Gershon said the business’ owner reported the fire about 5:30 p.m. While the outside of the building was contained, Gershon said firefighters as of 6:45 p.m. were still unable to go inside for safety reasons and the fire continued to burn. He said “cardboard and rubbish” were burning inside the building.

Firefighters remained on scene at 8:45 p.m. and were expected to remain overnight.

Co-owner Arron Lasky said he was looking for plywood around the building late Sunday afternoon. He left the business and went to his brother’s home nearby; about 30 minutes later, he said he looked back at the business, saw smoke and called the fire department.

He said he suspects arson.

“I think someone was sitting and watching (for him to leave),” he said. “My dad started this business before I was born. I grew up around paper. I know it doesn’t burn that easy.”

The fire is the third in Clovis in less than 24 hours, Gershon said, but officials have not determined a cause for any of them.

A fire Saturday night damaged the downstairs offices at Auto World at Second and Maple streets. That blaze was reported about 9:30 p.m. and was under control in 20 minutes, officials said.

A third fire burned a shed on Gidding Street, Clovis Fire Marshal Allan Silvers said.

There have been at least two other major fires in the vicinity in the last two months. Thai City restaurant employees reported a kitchen fire on Oct. 6. The restaurant has not reopened. The former Guadalajara restaurant on L. Casillas Boulevard burned Nov. 21. Officials have not announced a cause for that blaze, which destroyed the building.

Lasky and Gershon said Sunday’s fire was the second in a year at the recycling plant. Lasky said he did not know the cause of the first fire.

“I’m feeling broke,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of money invested in this business.

“You’ve just got to keep going, hope tomorrow is better and keep hoping for the best.”


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