** The video in the player above shows the press conference providing updating information regarding the massive fire in Richmond, Ind. **
RICHMOND, Ind. (WDTN) — Officials in Richmond, Indiana provided another update after Monday’s massive fire broke out at an industrial recycling facility.
Resources for Residents
The Red Cross and local organizations have joined together to set up a shelter for displaced residents at Oak Park Pentecostal Park at 1920 Chester Blvd. in Richmond. At the shelter, those that are in need of temporary shelter, meals or essential supplies are welcome to be at the church.
Richmond has set up a resource website here, where people can go to find the most up-to-date information regarding anything relating to the current status of the fire. Those without access to the internet are encouraged to call 1-765-973-9300 for updated information on access to community resources.
Tim Brown is the fire chief of the Richmond Fire Department and says on Wednesday evening, a firefighter suffered a minor injury at the fire, but luckily was treated and released at the scene.
Brown says the focus is going to be changing to focus more on “hot sources,” which firefighters will turn things over to cause the fire to decrease even more. The fire is around 90% completed and Brown is hoping the firefighters will have it decreased even more to 98 to 99% by Thursday evening or Friday at the latest.
When the sun goes down, it limits what the first responders are able to do to extinguish more of the fire, causing the responders to stop.
Boarding and Traveling
Jon Duke is with the Indiana Emergency Management Agency. Duke says people are able to go to their homes to get essentials, such as clothing and medication, which they might need, but the access is limited for traveling. People needing to temporarily visit their house should call 1-765-973-9399 to be escorted by police. Anyone traveling to and from their home is required to wear an N-95 mask for protection during the time of traveling.
Anyone that has a pet dog can call Abington Pines at 1-765-855-1000 to leave their dogs if they have nowhere to go. The pet must be updated on their shots for the ability to be temporarily taken care of by professionals.
Director of Richmond Sanitary District Pat Smoker says some water may have made its way into the sanitary plant, but nothing impactful has been shown when testing. Normal percentages in the testing range has been shown; no abnormalities in the water have been shown.
When the officials tested the water, they said they did not find any fish or wildlife deaths.
The sanitation department will reportedly be determining on how to handle the runoff.
Wayne County Health Department Reaction
Christine Stinson is with the Wayne County Health Department. She is encouraging people to limit their actions outside and to stay inside as much as possible. Wearing N-95 masks when you must be outside is highly suggested.
“If you’re smelling smoke, if you’re seeing smoke, then you’re in that plume,” Stinson said. “Today was a perfect example. That plume was shifting a little bit, and people that may’ve not experienced the smoke all of a sudden were experiencing the smoke.”
The masks are free at Wayne County Health Department at 100 South Fifth Street in Richmond.
Jason Sewell with the US EPA says one of the testing conducted came back as positive for “chrysotile asbestos.” Sewell said those in the area and surrounding area should not mow their lawns for the time being at the risk for spreading the asbestos, making it harder to clean up.
Crews conducted tests in 34 locations and visited a total of 76 times since the fire. There have been a reported 726 discreet measurements taken from around the area. At the site of the fire, officials call it the “grab sample,” which is not comparable to those living in the surrounding area. From the grab sample, professionals discovered compounds consisting of gasoline, cleaners and polishers.
By Friday, the US EPA will have the results of a test from Reid Health in Richmond. This test will give the EPA and community a better picture of what the community outside of the fire site is experiencing.
For the most updated information on the environmental impact, click here.
Photos from Montgomery County, Ohio
Residents on the Ohio side of the Miami Valley have been able to see and experience the smoke dozens of miles away from the initial site. The photographs below were taken at Day Air Ballpark in downtown Dayton on Monday after the Richmond fire began.