Evacuations lifted after warehouse fire

Huge fire breaks out in Indianapolis recycling warehouse

June 16, 2013

A major fire at a recycling center warehouse fueled by car tires, propane tanks and wood pallets caused clouds of black smoke to float over Indianapolis Saturday. The smoke was visible from miles away as the facility burned most of the afternoon.

The blaze at the 440,000 square-foot Nationwide Recycling facility broke out shortly after 1 p.m. The fire grew so big that the city’s Emergency Response Team was activated. Five neighboring fire departments helped battle the blaze.

No workers were inside at the time of the blaze, but the flames were continuously fed by more than 85,000 square feet of tires and 60,000 square feet of wooden pallets.

One third of the roof of the warehouse had collapsed by late afternoon.

Trains on nearby CSX lines were also halted.

Mandatory evacuations were put in place Saturday afternoon in the half-mile northeast of a large warehouse fire on Indianapolis’ southwest side. Those residents, who lived in the evacuation zone, were told to leave on Saturday, by police who went knocking door to door.

The EPA and Marion County Health Department had been using station air sampling equipment to monitor air quality- looking for possible hazardous chemicals, particles or substances in the air.

One Marion County Health Department truck with that same equipment attached to the roof was driving through the neighborhood grabbing air samples Saturday evening.

Not only was the fire “extremely labor intensive” but there were also concerns about burning debris from the fire spreading throughout the area. Firefighters spent time “canvassing the roof tops of adjacent businesses checking for spot fires,” according to the Fire Department’s Twitter feed.

At 6:45 a.m. the Indianapolis Fire Department announced Sunday morning that fire evacuations were lifted and residents who had been forced from their homes because of a warehouse fire could return.

Officials says the fire may burn until Monday.

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