Evacuation lifted after recycling plant fire in Rutherford Co.

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RUTHERFORD Co., N.C. (WSPA) — Officials said residents can return to their homes after an evacuation was issued for a fire at a recycling plant.

Rutherford County government officials said in a Facebook post on Tuesday that the half-mile evacuation has been lifted. Officials also said air quality tests found no hazardous materials. 

American Zinc Recycling Corp. facility off Highway 221 caught fire on Sunday. 

About 50 residents living nearby were evacuated over concern of sulfuric acid in the air. 

Firefighters battled the massive blaze through the night before it was extinguished Monday. 

American Zinc Recycling released a statement on the plant fire Tuesday:

“The situation at the facility and surrounding neighborhood is now stabilized following the precautionary evacuation of 48 families by Rutherford County Emergency Response officials over concerns of potential exposure to resulting smoke and airborne emissions.

Based on tests performed by emergency officials of air samples for various air pollutants — including sulfuric acid — at various locations surrounding the facility, we understand that exposure of sulfuric acid emissions at the monitored levels does not pose a health risk to citizens in the community.

Based on this monitoring, the evacuation order has been lifted and affected residents are permitted to return to their homes.  AZR continues to work cooperatively with emergency officials and to ensure the safety of citizens in the community.”

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