Evacuation Order Lifted After Mishawaka Chemical Fire
Created by on 9/16/2012 6:55:12 AM


Hundreds of northern Indiana residents evacuated after a fire at a vacant factory released a large chemical cloud have been cleared to return to their homes.

WSBT-TV reports the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency let residents near the old Baycote facility in Mishawaka return home starting about 7 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Saturday.

Firefighters say the building has been vacant since 2008, but this spring the EPA started cleaning up the site.

Residents were evacuated Friday night after sludge-like chemicals a crew had placed in a storage container caught fire, producing a cloud of chemical vapor about 10 miles east of South Bend. Eight people were taken to local hospitals, but none were seriously injured.

EPA on-scene coordinator Paul Atkociunas (At-KOON'-Uhs) says Friday night's situation was an "unfortunate accident."