Fire sparks at H.K. Porter site, prompts voluntary evacuations

Fire Sparks at H.K. Porter Site
Fire Sparks at H.K. Porter Site(WPTA)
Published: Apr. 29, 2022 at 3:29 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 29, 2022 at 5:44 AM EDT
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HUNTINGTON, Ind. (WPTA) - Huntington Fire Department crews investigate after a fire sparks at the abandoned H.K. Porter site on Sabine Street late Thursday night.

Deputy Fire Marshal David Teusch says the fire started around 11 p.m. When crews got there, they saw a lot of fire through the windows.

The building has held many operations since opening in 1919, including Asbestos Manufacturing Company, H.K. Porter and, when it closed in 1999, the Friction Materials Company. The city of Huntington took ownership in 2014.

In 2002, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management found evidence of hazardous materials including asbestos and lead on site. Teusch says there have been several cleanup efforts through the years. Huntington County officials had planned another cleanup of the site on May 9.

The fire marshal tells ABC21 several neighbors have voluntarily evacuated due to air quality concerns but explains evacuations aren’t mandatory.

Crews are expected to stay on site through the early part of Friday. As of 2:40 a.m., Teusch says the fire is under control.

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