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Hundreds Evacuated In Hart County

December 5, 1988

MUNFORDVILLE, Ky. (AP) _ A fire at a sawmill dump forced 300 people to be evacuated for up to seven hours when it spewed smoke and fumes into the neighborhood, authorities said.

The evacuees were allowed to return home Sunday night when a federal Environmental Protection Agency official determined the smoke and fumes were not toxic.

″The EPA has been up there, has done the air tests and they have not found any hazards in the smoke,″ said Terri Belt, public information officer for the Hart County Disaster and Emergency Services.

The fire, located at the Anderson Forest Products sawmill three miles north of Munfordville, sent up smoke and fumes that caused shortness of breath and burning eyes, said Bill Crabtree, coordinator of the state Disaster and Emergency Services in the county. But no one was treated at the hospital, officials said.

″We have truck tires, plastics, wiring that’s coated with plastic, coated with rubber, big balls of nylon. Really, we don’t know for sure what’s in there burning,″ Crabtree said. The material had been covered with sawdust and logging products, he said. Firefighters used dirt to smother the blaze.

Crabtree said the dumping was not legal, but said he could not comment on whether the owner would be cited.

The cause of the fire had not been determined.

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