The recycling plant fire is mostly out, but evacuees remain while crews monitor the air quality in schools and homes

The City of Wayne County is preparing to evacuate after the Tuesday morning fire: The smoke from the recycled material facility in the city, and the danger of spreading cancer

Since Tuesday, when the huge fire broke out at the recycled material plant in the city, many people have been forced to leave their homes around a half mile from the plant.

It depends on whether it is safe to breathe in the air in their community. The smoke from the fire had caused officials to close the public schools in the area for a number of days as the US Environmental Protection Agency tested the air in the area.

We are unable to give an exact time of when the orders will be lifted. Wayne County Emergency Management Agency is hoping to be able to allow residents to return to their homes as air monitoring results come back after lab testing.

Emergency officials told those who were not on the fire to continue to shelter in place because they would be in danger if they went outside.

Brown told CNN there is no product being off-gassed from the fire. The white smoke and steam coming from it is what we have. We don’t have a problem. The wind is pushing things out.

Emergency officials said that there are hot spots and small fires inside the building that will cause smoke, soot or the smell of plastic for days.

Testing of some debris samples from the fire confirmed the presence of asbestos, the EPA said, and the agency was working with professionals in Indiana and Ohio to remove the hazardous material.

Federal officials told people near the Indiana warehouse fire that broke out last week not to touch debris they found on their property because it has the risk of being contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals.

It was once widely utilized for insulation, but now it’s a very toxic substance. When inhaled or ingested, asbestos fibers can become trapped in the body, and may eventually cause genetic damage to the body’s cells. Exposure may also cause mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer.

A post on the Wayne county fire zone: Debris removal, water testing, and building codes violating in a Wayne County public water facility

Officials said that schools impacted with debris will be cleared first, and then contractors will begin to deploy drones to search rooftops for additional debris, according to the post.

According to the post, after school grounds are cleared, contractors will begin removing debris from residential properties, parks and/or public areas.

A primary health concern to residents is particulate matter, which could cause respiratory problems if inhaled, Christine Stinson, who heads the Wayne County Health Department, previously said.

At the fire zone’s center, the chemicals hydrogen cyanide, benzene, chlorine, carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, were detected, the EPA said Friday. They were not detected outside the evacuation zone, the agency said.

The officials have not found anything of immediate alarm including fish kills with the water testing that is going on downstream from the fire site.

Some ash and plastic debris were found, but weir booms have been installed to capture this material. Emergency officials in Wayne County said that Indiana American Water has had a close watch on the drinking water and reports no unusual readings or results from testing.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation and likely won’t be known for weeks, officials said. But local leaders have shared concerns since at least 2019 that the facility had hazards and building code violations, records show.

Comments on Snow’s Report on the My Way Trading Property in Richmond, Wash., April 1923–2005 a day after the First Fire

The EPA said it began collecting debris at schools, day cares and city parks on Saturday and that it was also working with state and local officials on a plan to collect debris from nearby homes.

People who suspect that debris from the fire ended up on their property are being urged to register their information with the EPA.

Richmond Mayor Dave Snow said earlier last week that the owner of the former business on the site, My Way Trading, had been ordered to clean up the property but ignored the order.

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