Skip to main content

That smoke in the Minneapolis skyline is a fire at a recycling plant

The fire is at a Northern Metal Recycling building – the same company that was dinged for air pollution issues earlier this year.

Thick smoke took up a portion of the Minneapolis skyline Tuesday morning – caused by a fire at a metal recycling plant on the city's north side.

The fire is on the 1800 block of N. 2nd St., the fire department tweeted, which is Northern Metal Recycling's 2nd Street location – a recycling express center, with public access.

Here's video from Twitter user @realkub.

It was reported a little before 10:30 a.m., and crews had the "bulk" of it knocked down in about 45 minutes. There was still a fire inside the building however, and heavy smoke remained a problem, and more than two hours later crews were still working to extinguish everything.

Things were deemed "under control" just before 1 p.m.

Both WCCO and Star Tribune have more on the blaze. No injuries were reported, and the fire department said it didn't detect any issues with the air in the area.

Here's some more from people on Twitter.

If Northern Metal Recycling sounds familiar ...

If you feel like you've heard of Northern Metal Recycling before, it might be because the company made news over the summer when it was dinged for possible air pollution issues.

In August, a judge ordered Northern Metal to shut down its metal shredding plant after the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency began investigating high levels of pollutants in the air near the plant.

That metal shredder is at a different location than the recycling center where the fire occurred Tuesday. The shredder is about a mile north on Pacific Street.

The agency had said in the spring it was worried about levels of airborne lead, chromium, cobalt and nickel in that area of North Minneapolis.

A 2015 report by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency found air pollution contributed to 2,000 deaths in the Twin Cities in a single year.

Next Up

Gov. Tim Walz and Scott Jensen.

MN Gun Owners Caucus won't endorse gubernatorial candidate in 2022

The organization endorsed Scott Jensen for Minnesota Senate in 2016.

WCCO building

Man who threw gun on WCCO roof charged with murder, manslaughter

The man originally lied and claimed someone else shot the victim.

Semi into house near Sturgis, South Dakota

Semi drives into house near Sturgis, South Dakota

The force from the semi was so strong that the foundation of the house was moved.


18-year-old from Zumbrota dies in Goodhue County crash

The crash happened in rural Goodhue County around 8:45 a.m. Wednesday.

thomas beach, bde maka ska - lake calhoun

3 Minneapolis beaches closed due to E. coli contamination

No illnesses have been reported, according to the MPRB.


'Hockeyland' documentary debuting in Minnesota movie theaters

The documentary has received great reviews at numerous film festivals.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Former Minnesota Olympic runner accused of driving drunk in Eden Prairie crash

Police said the man's blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit.


Man, 79, killed in ATV rollover near Faribault

The man was declared dead at the scene.

minneapolis police

Woman fighting for her life after shooting in Minneapolis

The woman was shot only about a half-hour after a 14-year-old suffered critical injuries in an apparent accidental discharge.

prior lake high school

Two students face discipline over racist messages at Prior Lake High School

Families and students were largely uncooperative with the investigation.

Sharon and Herb Vasser

Cause of Hopkins house explosion that killed couple revealed

Sharon and Herb Vassar were killed in the explosion. Herb built the home back in 1962.

Arrows on target

Charges: Minnesota camp counselor fired arrows at kids, injuring boy

An 8-year-old boy was shot in the arm with an arrow.


Large fire ongoing at Northern Metals Recycling plant in Becker

The company was previously based in Minneapolis, but was forced to leave due to pollution levels.

Screen Shot 2020-02-21 at 3.47.50 PM

'Imminent danger': State shuts down Becker recycling facility

A roaring fire at Northern Metal Recycling began Tuesday.

Fire firefighters

Burning smell in the Twin Cities? It's probably the Becker recycling plant fire

The fire broke out in the early hours of the morning, and has sparked concerns over air quality.

Screen Shot 2020-02-18 at 9.31.06 PM

Becker fire continues to rage, crews set to fight it throughout the night

The fire at Northern Metals Recycling is still well alight more than 18 hours after it broke out.

Smoke and haze Minneapolis

Where to expect wildfire smoke in Minnesota on Monday, Tuesday

After a brief weekend break, the poor air quality will be back to start the week.

This Minnesota family's hoverboard started on fire – now they're suing

A Minnesota family blames the company that sold them a hoverboard for the house fire that killed their four dogs.