Firefighters work to put out the fire at the recycling...

Firefighters work to put out the fire at the recycling plant on Thursday afternoon. Credit: James Carbone

Firefighters put out a large fire at a recycling plant in Medford Thursday.

Suffolk police responded to the 2:57 p.m. blaze at a Peconic Avenue facility operated by Gershow Recycling, a police spokeswoman said.

“There’s a lot of smoke” but no reports of injuries, she said.

The Medford Fire Department extinguished the fire Thursday evening, according to police, who said Suffolk Arson Squad detectives are investigating the cause.

A Medford Fire Department dispatcher said firefighters had been on the scene. A woman who answered the phone at the facility said no one was available to comment.

Gershow’s website describes its Medford site as a scrap metal recycling facility. The company operates nine facilities on Long Island and in Brooklyn.

In the past, neighbors have complained about air quality, noise and fires at the site.

The facility has had several workplace accidents and has been hit with thousands in fines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

In September 2021, an employee was closing a roll-off container door of an off-road truck and was struck in the head and killed. OSHA fined the company $14,500, records show. 

There have been other deaths and fires.

In 1987, a truck, operated by a Gershow employee at the Brookhaven Town landfill, toppled onto a car driven by an East Patchogue woman, killing her.

In 1998, a huge fire erupted at the Medford plant that took approximately 500 firefighters to extinguish.

In 2005, a Gershow employee was accidentally spattered with flaming hydraulic fluid while trying to repair a front end loader and died two days later.

In 2006, the company agreed to pay a $26,000 OSHA fine after a worker at the plant was severely burned and killed when a torch ignited a hydraulic line on the machine there, according to an investigation by the workplace safety agency. The investigation found nine “serious” safety violations.

The company said in a statement that year that it had hired a full-time safety director and corrected many of the hazards.

With Robert Brodsky and Michael O'Keeffe

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