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Extra-alarm fire rips through recycling center in downstate Madison

CBS Chicago
CBS Chicago
 2022-08-11

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Neighbors asked to stay indoors during downstate recycling facility fire 00:29

MADISON, Ill. (CBS) -- Firefighters in downstate Madison battled a massive extra-alarm fire at a metal recycling center Monday.

The fire was first reported around 10 a.m. at the Interco recycling center on Fox Industrial Drive in Madison, a Metro East community across the Mississippi River from St. Louis.

The blaze quickly expanded in size, and there were numerous explosions caused by hazardous materials in the facility, KMOV-TV, CBS 4 in St. Louis reported.

A five-alarm response was called, and fire departments from both sides of the Mississippi River rushed to the scene.

Matt Coppin of the Metro West Fire Protection District told KMOV the fire was burning recycling materials, the building itself, and cars that were parked nearby.

Workers were inside the plant recycling batteries at the time. At least one person, a man who had been working in the plant, was hospitalized with burn injuries, KMOV reported.

Witnesses reported seeing smoke as far away as the St. Louis Zoo, which is 14 miles from the scene.

News 4 St. Louis Chief Meteorologist Steve Templeton shared radar images showing a smoke plume from the fire.

Around 11:30 a.m., Madison County official told News 4 in St. Louis they were ordering a Code Red for a shelter in place order for anyone within a mile of the burning building.

There are concerns the air could be unsafe.

People living nearby are urged to stay indoors, close their windows, and turn off their air conditioning until officials can determine there are no dangerous chemicals in the air.

There was no word late Wednesday on when the fire will be put out, or what started it.

KMOV reported the Madison Fire Department was also called to the building in 2020 for several explosions and a wall collapse.

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