‘Definitely Toxic’: Massive Fire At Indiana Plastic Recycling Facility Forces Thousands To Evacuate
View of flames of red-orange fire and motion clouds of black smoke covered sky. Selective focus, motion blur from strong fire and high temperature from flames.
Geyzer via Getty Images

A massive fire at a plastic recycling plant in Indiana led to the evacuation of around 2,000 people from the surrounding area while clouds of toxic smoke billowed into the sky on Tuesday. 

Authorities ordered the evacuation of a portion of Richmond, Indiana, a city of about 35,000 located on the eastern edge of the state, after an industrial fire at a storage facility the mayor said was a known “fire hazard.”

“They were under a city order to clean up and remediate that site,” Mayor Dave Snow told the Associated Press. “We knew that was a fire hazard the way they were storing materials.”

Snow added in a statement on Facebook that the Environmental Protection Agency and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management were “on site and evaluating any potential hazards resulting from the fire. It may take them a while to complete their work. Once we have a report to share, we will convey the information.”

Those who live within a half-mile radius of the factory were ordered to evacuate, with some finding refuge at a local church called Bethesda Worship Center or nearby hotels. 

“The smoke is definitely toxic,” said Steve Jones, an Indiana State Fire Marshal. “This fire is going to burn for a few days.”

Richmond Fire Chief Tim Brown agreed with the mayor, saying that the location had received an “unsafe citation” in the past. “He has been warned several times,” he said. “I don’t know when exactly that was, but we were aware of the situation we were dealing with.”

Brown explained that the facility was filled “wall to wall” with plastics and that the fire was avoidable. “It is very frustrating for all of us,” he said, according to Fox 59. “The battalion chief on today was very frustrated when he pulled up because we knew it wasn’t a matter of if, it was a matter of when this was going to happen.”


The smoke from the fire was blown into Ohio and could be seen from miles away.

There were no injuries associated with the blaze initially reported. It is unclear how many days the fire might go on for.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  ‘Definitely Toxic’: Massive Fire At Indiana Plastic Recycling Facility Forces Thousands To Evacuate