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Richmond Toxic Fire: Evacuation order lifted in Richmond after massive fire

RICHMOND — Richmond residents can now return to their homes days after a massive fire, city and county officials announced Sunday.

Mayor Dave Snow said the decision was made by the Wayne County Emergency Management Agency after they reviewed air quality data from around the fire provided to them by the EPA and consulted with federal, state and health officials.

“We want the community to know and be reassured we know, understand and recognize this is only one milestone in what is going to be a very long event,” Matthew Cain, the director of the Wayne County EMA said.

Cain said the EMA will be transition from a “response” mode to a “recovery” in order to get the community “to some sort of normalcy.”

>> RELATED: Richmond Toxic Fire: Richmond Community Schools announce no classes for Monday

Fire crews will remain on scene on the fire in case there are any flare-ups, Richmond Fire Chief Tim Brown said.

Brown advised the public to stay away from the scene and let fire crews continue their work.

David Jetmore, with the Wayne County Health Department, said he has been in contact with the Indiana State Department of Health, the EPA and poison control to determine the health impact of the chemicals found in the air.

Jetmore said all the chemicals have been non-detectable except for benzene, naphthalene and butadiene in small amounts.

This coupled with the fact that rain and wind is moving through the area ensured Jetmore it was safe for people to return home.

>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Richmond Toxic Fire: EPA searching for, removing debris from schools in both Indiana, Ohio

“I feel very confident that people will be safe when they move back to their homes,” Jetmore said.

Snow said as residents return home or to their businesses the city will have cleaning kits available as well as guidelines.

Wayne County Health Department Director Christine Stinson urged residents to clean the outside of their homes as well as high-touch surfaces. She also suggested airing out your home if it was full of smoke.

Further information about debris removal and guidance for cleaning your home can be found on the city’s website.

Officials said they will continue to use the website to provide updates on cleanup efforts.

We will continue to follow this story and update as new information becomes available.


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