Evacuation order lifted after Ind. chemical fire

MISHAWAKA, Ind. (AP) — Hundreds of northern Indiana residents evacuated after a fire at a vacant factory released a large chemical cloud have been given the all-clear to return to their homes.

WSBT-TV reports (http://bit.ly/PCVLX6 ) the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency let residents near the old Baycote facility in Mishawaka return home starting about 7 a.m. EDT 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."

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