INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Marion County Health Department officials have issued the owner of the Belmont warehouse an emergency notice of violation.
The large warehouse caught fire on the city's southwest side Saturday.
The Marion County Health Department confirmed the presence of asbestos in a sample of material release during the fire on Belmont Avenue. Officials say the owner, Keith Sharp, is now required to remove and properly dispose of materials spread, or that debris spread by the fire.
Officials say Sharp is in violation of three Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County codes. Those address the presence of asbestos in the building and also in materials found beyond the building's property.
Sharp is required to hire a professional to collect and dispose of materials on and around the property.
"From a public health standpoint, we want to make sure the residents are not exposed to any type of contamination unnecessarily," said Dana Reed Wise, Chief of the Bureau of Environmental Health at the Marion County Public Health Department.
Residents continue to be advised not to disturb any debris, as touching it, walking near it, or cutting grass could cause harmful fibers to be released into the air.
Crystal Terrell is one of the Belmont neighbors, and still has debris pieces in her yard.
"It's all over the news, they're saying don't pick it up. A little too late for that, I done picked it up," said Terrell.
We were there Saturday as she was doing just that. Health officials say it's when debris with asbestos crumbles, the fiber could get into the air. Inhaling the fibers could be dangerous.
"Most of it had crumbled in the yard as I was picking it up, so that kind of worries me now a little bit," said Terrell.
Other neighbors say the same thing, adding they're mainly concerned about children playing in the yard. "For the most part, if they just come and do a little clean up, I mean, we would greatly appreciate it," said neighbor Juan Baca.
Officials say the owner, Keith Sharp of Alabama, could be fined up to $2500 dollars a day for not complying. 24-Hour News 8 tried to speak to him again Thursday, but didn't reach him.
Officials say some people may decide to pick up material themselves. If you do so:
- Wet the material with water
- Place in a sealed bag
- Store it in a safe place until a qualified person can pick it up
The Marion County Public Health Department is creating a call-in line for residents to ask questions and send someone to pick up the materials. That number can be accessed starting June 21 at 8 a.m. Call 317-221-2159. Calls will be taken during normal business numbers.
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