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Hoopeston Tire Fire Ruled Accidental

The police chief in Hoopeston says the Illinois State Fire Marshal has ruled a massive fire at a tire-recycling facility was accidental.

Hoopeston Police Chief Mark Drollinger tells The News-Gazette that the fire marshal said the fire was due to static electricity that occurred when employees were working.

Flames erupted at J&R Used Tire Service in Hoopeston early Wednesday. Heavy, black smoke was seen for miles as the 400,000-square-foot brick facility burned.

More than 100 firefighters from across east-central Illinois and west-central Indiana fought the blaze. Hundreds of homes were evacuated.

Both the state and federal Environmental Protection Agency have visited the scene and are monitoring air quality.