Fire finally out at plastics factory

Fire finally out at plastics factory

(WMC-TV) - What is left of Allied Plastics is now a mangled mess of burned metal.

"It's still a nightmare for us," said business owner Will Douglas.

Millions of pounds of burning recycled plastic lit up the Ripley sky all day Tuesday.   Now, one day later, it is time for the clean up.

"I worked there 25 years making pockets to put in pants. Then I stayed there until I left," said resident Margaret Colvin.

Colvin used to work in the building, which was at one time the Lauderdale Garment Factory.

Colvin, who is on oxygen, was very worried when she looked across the street to see thick black smoke.

"If the wind had been blowing and it started, we would have had to leave," she explained.

The smoke was so thick it could be seen in Brighton, Covington, and Dyersburg.

EMA officials in Tipton County asked the EPA to test the air.

"What was in the smoke? What kind of toxicities were we looking at as far as being in the smoke and what hazards would we have," said Tipton County EMA Director Tommy Dunavant.

After two days of testing, the EPA says the air and water are safe.

Business owner Will Douglas says he plans to rebuild and keep working in the meantime.

"Thankful nobody got hurt. Thankful the buildings and homes around us were not damaged. I'm glad there's no pollution in the air and water," Douglas said.

Fire officials say it could be weeks before a cause is determined.

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