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Hoopeston Fire Clean-up

HOOPESTON -- Excavation crews in Hoopeston are cleaning up what is left of J&R Used Tire Service.

But the clean-up may pose its own dangers.

Small fires are still burning on the property but those fires aren't the  biggest concern for workers.

It's the possibility of asbestos.

Rick Flessner is a Technician for Lee Farms Excavating and says, "We don't touch it.  It's flagged.  We spray around the piles and put red flags around it so our guys know not to touch the metal and it's not to be hauled anywhere."

Each pile has to be cleared to move.

Flessner says, "As we go through the metal and the rubber he is checking for asbestos and tagging each location and testing and as he tests, and gets cleared tests, we move on to the next section."

Mark Lundholm is an Assistant Project Scientist for Weston Solutions and says, "My primary role is to monitor the loads of tire shed that are coming off the site."

One-hundred and fifty semi loads of debris have been removed from the property.

A significant improvement, but there's still more to be done.

"I'd say it could be six weeks to eight weeks.  Roughly two months."

Debris is tested and cleared before it is sent off to be recycled.

Flessner says, "The metal is going to Mervis in Danville and the tire refuse is going to Republic Landfill just south of Hoopeston."

The owners of the tire recycling facility hired the excavating team to remove debris.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency brought contractors to oversee the clean-up in an effort to keep the operation as safe as possible.

ABC NewsChannel 15's Heather Good Reports