EAST CHICAGO, Ind.-A fire July 16 at Rubber Material Handling Resources Corp., which processes scrap tires into TDF and crumb, forced the evacuation of residents in a four-block area. The plant, part of the former Blaw-Knox Foundry complex, (photo on page one) contained an estimated 70,000 tons of shredded tires, equivalent to about 7 million passenger tires.
An East Chicago Fire Department official said the state fire marshal will investigate the cause of the blaze. No damage estimate has been determined.
Firefighters from East Chicago, Gary and Hammond, Ind., arrived early July 16 and continued to work on extinguishing hot spots inside the building throughout the following week.
On July 18, clouds of black smoke and steam that billowed out of the plant forced the evacuation of a number of residents from their homes bordering the facility, and employees from a nearby plant. One firefighter was injured when he fell 40 feet off an aerial ladder of a fire truck.