RICHMOND, Ind. – A month after a massive warehouse fire broke out in Richmond, the city has a considerable amount of work to do.

On the afternoon of April 11, a large plume of black smoke was visible for miles after the fire erupted at the former My Way Trading warehouse on NW F Street. It burned for several days and led to an evacuation order. The order was later lifted on April 16.

In an update provided Thursday, Richmond Mayor Dave Snow said the city has “learned a lot” over the last month. He also outlined the next steps in the cleanup effort.

The city has asked the Environmental Protection Agency to undertake an “environmental investigation” and “immediate removal action of materials” at the site. It’s also arranged a site access agreement allowing mitigation efforts to start and secured an environmental consultant to monitor the process.

The Richmond Fire Department, Richmond Police Department and Richmond Street Department will work with the EPA to move heavy equipment to the site to help with “assessment and remediation activities.”

There are several steps involved in the process:

  • Identification of materials and debris on the site, with EPA set to start sampling on May 15
  • Development of a plan for proper removal and disposal of materials and debris from the site
  • Actual removal and disposal of materials and debris
  • Follow-up environmental testing

Snow acknowledged the cleanup effort would be a lengthy one.

“The sooner we get started the sooner we’ll get it finished. We’re going to keep pushing forward every day until we can put this behind us and look ahead,” he said in a statement.

According to the EPA, crews collected debris from 330 private and public properties in Indiana and neighboring Ohio. The agency inspected another 512 locations for debris and found no evidence of presumed asbestos-containing material, according to an update posted last week.

The city’s community help line remains active. Anyone with questions or in need of assistance can call (765) 973-9300.