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Richmond fire

Source: WISH-TV / other

RICHMOND, Ind. — The mayor of Richmond is already placing blame for a massive fire at a plastic recycling facility on the business’s owner.

Mayor Dave Snow says that the neighborhoods in the immediate area of the burning facility are still under an evacuation order. That means Hoosiers living there are advised not to venture into their homes, at least not without wearing an N95 mask. The fire is releasing tons of toxins into the air.

“These are very fine particles and if they are breathed in they can cause a lot of respiratory problems,” said Christine Stinson, executive director of the Wayne County health department. “Burning of the eyes, tightening of the chest. It can aggravate asthma.”

Snow laid all of those risks that residents of his city are facing on the owner of the recycling facility.

“This business owner had previously been cited by our unsafe building commission to clean up the property. That order was ignored,” Snow said. “We were aware that was operating here was a fire hazard. That business owner is fully responsible for all of this. We have the unsafe building order in the record court documents.”

Firefighters have been working around the clock to get the fire put out. It is not burning as intensely as it was on Tuesday, but the state fire marshal has said it may be a while until the fire is completely out.

Tim Brown, the fire chief of the Richmond fire department, says they plan to get closer to the building today with excavators as they begin their investigation into how the fire started.