As tons of smoldering plastic and cardboard remained to be hauled away, the investigation into the blaze that destroyed a Tioga County recycling facility is moving forward.

Fire officials at the Taylor Garbage Service plant in the town of Owego initially said they suspected a carelessly discarded lithium-ion battery might have been the culprit.

Apalachin Fire Chief Mike George Monday said that "certainly is the leading theory."

Local and state fire investigators were working to eliminate other possible causes of the blaze that was reported late Friday afternoon.

George said crews working for Taylor Garbage Service were on the scene to haul away the tons of materials that had been inside the Route 434 complex when the fire broke out.

The fire chief said although some minor injuries like cuts were reported, no one was seriously hurt in the effort to control the massive blaze.

Taylor Garbage Service did not respond to a call seeking comment on the company's plans in the aftermath of the fire.

Fire filled the Taylor Garbage Service recycling plant minutes after the blaze was reported on January 3, 2020. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

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