A massive fire at a plastics manufacturing facility in Indiana sent a huge column of black smoke billowing into the sky as more than 2,000 residents were ordered to evacuate.
The fire, which is expected to last for days, was caused by a tractor trailer truck that caught fire, which in turn set fire to a nearby building that stored plastics and recycled materials.
The fire broke out around 2.40pm on Tuesday in Richmond, between Indianapolis and Dayton, engulfing the entire facility and sending a cloud of black smoke visible from more than 20 miles away.
A warning issued by the Wayne County Emergency Department just before 4 p.m. ordered the evacuation of people within half a mile of the fire.
And he commanded those downwind of the fire to the east-northeast, beyond a radius of half a mile, to take shelter. Read the warning, “Turn off HVAC units, keep windows and doors closed, and bring pets indoors until advised.”
A major fire at a plastics manufacturing facility in Indiana forced more than 2,000 residents to evacuate their homes on Tuesday afternoon.
The black smoke was visible from over 20 miles away. This photo was uploaded by a Twitter user who said they were in nearby Connersville
Richmond is a border city located between Indianapolis and Dayton, Ohio
As of approximately 7 p.m., the fire was contained on three of its four sides at the 358 NW F Street location, according to Richmond Mayor Dave Snow. He said the evacuation order was unlikely to be lifted before morning.
“We have a dangerous, widespread fire with a thick plume of black smoke billowing into the air,” said Richmond Mayor Dave Snow. “The buses are being used to evacuate residents who need them.”
“The smoke is definitely toxic,” Marshall Fire, Indiana, said at the site, according to Fox 59. “This fire will burn for a few days,” he added.
Richmond Police Chief Mike Brett called the situation a “major public danger” and told people to stay away.
“We had a big problem with passers-by approaching the fire,” he said.
This has been an explosion hazard since the first fire. We have seen many eruptions. Please try to restrain yourself.
The fire was caused by a trailer truck which caught fire, which in turn set fire to an adjacent building where plastics and recycled materials were being stored.
As of approximately 7 p.m., the fire was contained on three of its four sides at the 358 NW F Street location, according to Richmond Mayor Dave Snow.
You should not come close to this fire to see it. You can see it from many miles away. Mind you and have the common courtesy, if you are inside the hot spot and one of my people has to come in and get you out, those are two people at risk.
Wayne County Emergency Management Director Matthew Kane said in a report that the smoke was first reported just before 3 p.m.
According to the chief of the Richmond Fire Department battalion, “all hands on deck”.
The Bethesda Worship Center offered temporary shelter to people forced from their homes while other agencies tried to arrange hotel rooms if needed.
Snow wrote that the fire department had received enough donations to “get through this event” but thanked everyone who provided support.
Those within half a mile of the plastics facility were told to evacuate
The National Weather Service released images of the smoke, which was detected by radar and satellite imagery
One person reported that debris was falling in their backyard about 10 miles from the fire
Some residents took to Twitter to share photos of the fire and one person reported falling debris in their backyard. Some debris from the fire fell within ten miles of the fire sire in New Paris, Ohio, according to local outlets. WRTV.
The National Weather Service released images of the smoke, which was detected by radar and satellite imagery.
Snow said the Environmental Protection Agency and Indiana Department of Environmental Management are on the site and assessing any potential hazards from the fire.
Richmond is a border city between Indiana and Ohio. In February, a fire broke out when a train derailed in the border town of East Palestine, between Ohio and Pennsylvania, exposing thousands of residents to toxic chemicals.