Richmond, IN – A recycling plant fire broke out on Thursday afternoon, leading to evacuations of more than 2,000 residents in the area. The fire started at the facility owned by the same company that was cited multiple times before the incident, leading to concerns about safety protocols being followed.
The owner of the Richmond plastics facility, who was not named, had been warned several times about violations but failed to take corrective measures. “It wasn’t if, it’s when,” one official said, adding that the owner had been “circumventing the system” for a long time.
The fire caused thick smoke to fill the air and flames to engulf the building, with witnesses describing it as a “massive fire.” Local firefighters and emergency services rushed to the scene, with some describing the inferno as the largest fire they had ever seen.
Evacuation orders were issued for the surrounding area as authorities attempted to contain the blaze. The evacuation was a difficult process as the facility was located in a dense area of the city, and residents had to navigate through the thick smoke to leave their homes.
The cause of the fire is still being investigated, but officials say that it may have been caused by chemicals present in the facility. The incident has raised concerns over the safety of recycling plants and the measures that need to be taken to ensure that such incidents do not occur in the future.
Residents are being advised to stay away from the area until the situation is under control. The investigation into the incident is ongoing, and the owner of the plant may face legal charges in the coming days.