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Massive fire at recycling facility in Richmond smoldering but under control

Crews have found it difficult to reach parts of the fire.

RICHMOND, Ind. — Days after a massive fire broke out at a Richmond facility housing plastics for recycling, firefighters said the fire is still smoldering but is under control. 

Smoke from the blaze showed up on satellite images taken thousands of feet above the earth. 

That smoke, investigators say, is toxic. Test results are expected Saturday and that will decide if the people evacuated will be allowed home. In the meantime, authorities are urging people to stay out of the evacuation zone.

"It'll make the community a little more relaxed when they're not seeing this huge black plume going throughout the city," said Richmond Fire Department Chief Tim Brown.

Plastic bundles tied together and piled high at the indoor and outdoor facility, fueled this fire and sent toxic chemicals sky high. Some of those plastic bundles and burned pieces of plastic waste are now strewn around the area.

Credit: WTHR

In the days ahead, Brown said they'll keep working slowly and carefully to make sure they get this massive fire put out once and for all and get everyone here home safe. 

"Every one of them, I treat them like family," Brown said. "They're all my brothers and sisters, so I want everybody to go home and go home safe to their family,"

Richmond Fire expects to be working until at least Saturday morning. 

Once this fire is finally out, the cleanup can begin.

Richmond leaders said they are tracking costs throughout the situation for possible future reimbursement or litigation.

If you live in Richmond and need assistance, head to this website to get information on where to find hotels and shelter.


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a page that lists all of their updates on the Richmond fire.

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