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Multiple agencies and residents battle smoke a day after Madison recycling plant fire

The fire sent one employee to the hospital and led to a shelter-in-place order for residents in close proximity to the fire site overnight.

MADISON, Ill. — Fire crews continued to pour water over empty shells from a burned recycling factory in Madison on Thursday.

A five-alarm fire at Interco, which recycles old electronics on Fox Industrial Drive, sent one warehouse employee to the hospital with minor injuries and prompted a shelter-in-place order for residents from Wednesday into Thursday afternoon.

Madison County Emergency Management lifted a shelter-in-place order for residents closest to the smoke Thursday, citing overnight air monitoring showed levels of fine particulates fell within the range of safety.

Twenty-four hours after the blaze broke out, empty shells of the building became visible, and a car was completely burned out.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued a disaster proclamation to help promptly send resources to the community.

Marvin Bradley, a resident, was fascinated by the flames and just how powerful they can be.

"It kept me captivated. I stood right there down the street from it for at least two hours," Bradley said.

Bradley and his wife live at 5th and State streets just yards away from where the fire broke out.

They showed 5 On Your Side a Ziploc bag of particles from the blast they had picked up off their property.

"Environmental people coming through and I've been asking the is this going to have any effect on us or anything. What kind of effect does it have? Bradley questioned.

They still warned those with health problems to take precautions.

Read the full statement including health tips here:

⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️ The shelter in place order has been lifted. Please see details below. ⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️

Posted by Madison County - IL Emergency Management Agency on Thursday, August 11, 2022

Multiple agencies returned to the site to help clear the smoke and other threats.

"We're a small volunteer fire department. 31 guys on a thing but when you get 200 guys in town working. That's great stuff. They take care of business,” said Madison’s Mayor John Hamm III.

Hamm stated the biggest obstacle was getting enough water to run the trucks and that he was thankful for Terminal Railroad Association's cooperation.

"We were able to get on this side of the tracks where there's plenty of water pressure to supply those units. That was probably one of the biggest challenges," Hamm said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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