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Richmond residents seek answers and information two weeks after massive fire

Richmond residents seek answers and information two weeks after the fire
Posted at 11:27 PM, Apr 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-26 09:05:51-04

RICHMOND — It's been two weeks since the massive industrial fire in Richmond forced people to evacuate their homes. Tuesday night, many residents and those living nearby still have questions.

They hoped to get answers this afternoon during an event with the EPA and local and state agencies.

WRTV’s Amber Grigley asked resident Pamela Worth, “When you heard about this happening today, what were you expecting?” Worth said, “I was expecting them to have some answers."

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The days following the Richmond fire have been far from perfect for Worth.

“My husband over here is coughing right now. I just got done, ever since it started. I have asthma, and I was told 'we can't treat you because we have no idea of what chemicals you ingested,'" said Worth.

Worth said she and her husband are now buried under medical bills from the respiratory issues they are experiencing. They showed up to the EPA’s live helpline event at Fairview Elementary School Tuesday evening, hoping to get some assistance.

"They should have people that are taking our caseloads. They should have people standing up, giving us backup support and where we're supposed to go to our doctors. There's nothing in place," said Worth.

"I saw my house on national TV," said Kebra Hoskins.

Hoskins lives a street over from where the fire happened. She joined other residents Tuesday night, seeking answers as well.

"Each table that I’ve gone to so far they were able to answer the questions as best they could with the knowledge they have right now. What I’m glad about is that they're saying the air quality is safe because that's what we were really concerned about," said Hoskins.

“We have crews coming to people's yards and collecting that debris," said Allen Jarrell, the on-scene Coordinator with EPA.

Residents received packets to help them properly handle and get rid of the debris they find from the fire.

Kebra said she was content with the information she received Tuesday evening.

"I filled out the form to have them come out and look and see what they could find," said Hoskins.

Pamela was not as satisfied.

"We need real help and real money here," said Worth.

The mayor of Richmond was also at tonight's event to answer questions but was not free for an interview while WRTV was there.

A helpline has been set up for Richmond residents.

You can contact the community helpline: 765-973-9300.

You can also visit the city’s web page for more information and the EPA website, here.