RICHMOND, Ind. (WDTN) — It’s been one month since a massive fire broke out in Richmond, Indiana and the city is outlining its next steps.
On April 11, the former My-Way Trading warehouse caught fire and burned for several days, releasing smoke over the city that even made its way to the Miami Valley.
Residents within a half-mile radius of the facility were ordered to evacuate their homes while the rest of the city was ordered to shelter in place. Our sister station WXIN reported that those orders weren’t lifted until April 16.
In the weeks since, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and the city of Richmond have been working to clean up the site of the fire.
“We have learned a lot over the last month,” said Richmond Mayor Dave Snow. “More importantly, we have witnessed the heroism of our first responders, the collaborative spirit of our county, state, and federal partners, and the resiliency and compassion of our community.”
The city has formally requested that the EPA “undertake an environmental investigation and immediate removal of the materials at the site.” The city said a site access agreement has been executed to allow mitigation to begin and an environmental consultant will monitor the process.
The Richmond Fire Department, the Richmond Police Department and the Richmond Street Department are also reportedly working with the EPA to mobilize heavy equipment to help with “assessment and remediation activities.”
The city of Richmond outlined the following steps in the clean-up process:
- Identify the materials/debris on site. Sampling will begin on May 15 by the EPA.
- Develop a plan to safely remove and properly dispose of the material/debris.
- Safely remove and dispose of the materials/debris.
- Conduct follow-up environmental testing at the site.
“Although the full clean-up effort will take quite some time, we’re working diligently to get it moving,” said Mayor Snow. “The sooner we get started the sooner we’ll get it finished. We’re going to keep pushing forward every day until we can put this behind us and look ahead.”
The city will continue to update the public through its website as new information becomes available.
Residents impacted by the fire that are in need of assistance can call the Wayne County Help Line at 765-973-9300.