DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Richmond residents are seeking guidance after the toxic recycling center fire that forced people out of their homes.
City, county and federal officials hosted an informal question-and-answer session for residents Tuesday night.
“This is a nice horse and pony show with the EPA and everything,” Chris Cain, a concerned business owner, said. “I get it. They’re trying, and there’s legal things going on and whatever. But when it comes down to it, that helps me very little.”
Cain is frustrated because he already has expenses from being displaced by the fire, and the cost to properly clean his home is over a thousand dollars.
“I can go home and try to clean my best, but I’m not a professional cleaner, and that’s not what I do,” Cain added. “I don’t even know if what I’m doing is going to protect my own kids. I don’t know.”
Executive director for the Wayne County Health Department, Christine Stinson, understands the frustration of the community and wants to provide answers, but says testing the ash is hard without funding to do so.
“VOCs [volatile organic compounds] are gone,” Stinson said. “That particulate matter, you know, we would like to know exactly what was in that before we could safely, with confidence, say. It is just particular matter, nothing more than like a wood fire.”
Once they test the ash, they would have a better picture. For now, she recommends people in the evacuation area to keep airing out the homes and clean off soot and ash with wet wiping.
The report from the city’s sanitation department was a positive one, but there is still a long road to recovery for Richmond.