Ind. recycling center fire may not be extinguished for days

Residents near a fire at a recycling warehouse in Indianapolis were told they could return home Sunday after officials said smoke no longer posed a threat.

The blaze broke out about 1 p.m. Saturday near downtown Indianapolis, sending a huge plume of smoke into the air as large piles of car tires and wood pallets burned. Residents in nearby homes were evacuated due to the toxic smoke.

Health and environmental officials gave the all-clear for residents to return Sunday morning after air-quality tests showed the smoke no longer presented a threat. Residents were told to keep their windows shut though, especially those who have respiratory problems, the Indianapolis Star reported.

Officials said the fire may not be extinguished until Tuesday.

"Tires are almost impossible to put out quickly," said Indianapolis Fire Department spokeswoman Lt. Rita Buris.

At the fire's height, about 200 firefighters from eight central Indiana departments battled the blaze. Four firefighters sustained minor injuries, the Star said.

About 50 percent of the 444,000-square-foot building had collapsed by Sunday, Buris said.


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