More Than 200 Firefighters Respond to 5-alarm Fire at Metro-east Recycling Facility

At 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, a fire was reported at a Madison manufacturing complex. The black plumes of smoke spread for miles in all directions within half an hour, visible from both banks of the Mississippi River. By midday, massive flames could still be seen on Fox Industrial Drive, and about 200 emergency personnel had arrived from various agencies. Large flames climbed high above the roofline and devoured the entire structure, which had been occupied by railroad engines on the neighboring lines. Several brief explosions were audible from within the blazing building. Interco’s 40-acre site includes this structure, one of five.

Interco’s website states that the company recycles nonferrous metals, electronics, and electric car batteries. On Wednesday afternoon, attempts to contact a representative of the company were unsuccessful. KSDK Channel 5 reported, citing Madison Mayor John Hamm III, that an employee had been hurt and sent to the hospital. It took some time to assess how serious those wounds were.

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Neighborhood residents were evacuated early on March 12, 2020, when a fire broke out in the same building. On Wednesday, inhabitants of the village were told to “shelter in place” via Code Red phone and text messages. Residents of some Granite City communities were also urged to shelter in place. The Environmental Protection Agency has urged residents of the area between 17th Street in Granite City and Madison to remain indoors until the risks associated with the fire have been determined and eliminated. Please remain in your homes, workplaces, etc., located in 1400, 1500, and 1600 blocks of 17th Street south toward Madison.

Fire in Madison Illinois Today

The fire is being investigated by teams from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, according to agency spokeswoman Kim Biggs. Biggs added that the EPA would be requested to hire an on-site air monitoring firm. Mitchell, Ponte Vedra Beach, Venice, and Madison firefighters all responded to the Fox Industrial Drive incident. There were additional crews from St. Louis, Ferguson, and Hazelwood, all in the state of Missouri.

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