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Arkansas fire forces evacuations

A fire at an Arkansas plant was keeping more than 500 people from their homes.

BY HEATHER MOYER | EL DORADO, Arkansas | January 3, 2005

A fire at an Arkansas hazardous waste disposal plant was keeping more than 500 people from their homes on Monday.

Officials did not yet have an estimate on when evacuees who were staying in local churches could return home, as fire officials were letting the fire burn itself out rather than send firefighters into a hazardous area.

The fire started Sunday morning at the Teris plant and initially forced more than 1,500 people from their homes. The plant disposes of chemicals such as solvents, insecticides, and waste oils. Authorities from the Environmental Protection Agency are monitoring the air quality in the area as well as advising residents to turn off heaters and air conditioners and keep windows and doors shut as a precaution.

No injuries have been reported, said an El Dorado police spokesperson, but some residents have reported headaches and nausea.

The cause of the fire is unknown.

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