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Clean up to start soon on site of Richmond warehouse fire

Officials: hazardous materials will not be placed in local landfills

Photo: Colin Williams
Photo: Colin Williams

RICHMOND, Ind. (NewsLink Indiana) It's been six months since a major industrial fire in Richmond pushed a huge plume of smoke over the city, but now, clean up crews from the Environmental Protection Agency are ready to pick up the pieces in early November.

The fire that broke out on April 11 at the former site of My-Way Trading burned hazardous materials like asbestos-containing material, lead and antimony, according to the EPA.

The fire forced about 2,000 residents within a half-mile radius evacuation zone out of their homes for days. The evacuation order was lifted on April 16.

"We could still smell it, like, it was real thick and heavy," Richmond resident Hailey Murphy said. "By the end of the night, the inside was a little smoky so, I mean, there's nothing we could have really done."

Murphy had no choice but to stay. Months later, her kids are still feeling the effects

"The kids seemed a little more like, coughy wise afterwards," Murphy said. "There was a bunch of debris that you could see settling on the grass."

City officials say that hazardous materials will not be placed in local landfills, instead, will be transported to an appropriate hazardous materials disposal location.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency told NewsLink Indiana that cleanup equipment is currently being mobilized to the site. The overall price tag for the operation is an estimated $2.8 million.

There is no word on when the clean up will be completed.

Contact Alex Almanza with comments at aalmanza@bsu.edu