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Hoopeston tire plant fire ruled accidental

June 21, 2013

HOOPESTON, Ill. (AP) — The police chief in Hoopeston says the massive fire at a tire-recycling facility was accidental.

Hoopeston Police Chief Mark Drollinger tells The News-Gazette in Champaign (http://bit.ly/15qr9vv) that the Illinois State Fire Marshal made the ruling after concluding Wednesday’s fire at J&R Used Tire Service was caused by static electricity created while employees were working.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has asked Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office to seek a court order halting operations and requiring the company to assess and clean up any contamination.

Heavy, black smoke was seen for miles as the 400,000-square-foot brick facility caught fire and burned.

More than 100 firefighters from Illinois and Indiana fought the blaze, and hundreds of homes were evacuated.

State and federal environmental officials have been on-site and are monitoring air quality.

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Information from: The News-Gazette, http://www.news-gazette.com

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