MADISON, Ill. – The smoke from a recycling warehouse in Madison, Illinois still lingers Friday after it caught on fire earlier this week.

Smoke and charred debris were left behind the 400,000-square-foot warehouse. The clean-up process begins, and not only at the site. 

“It’s really a bad situation for us as neighbors. All kinds of debris that dropped out,” said Harold Wilson. “You know, I’ve got all kinds of black debris in my backyard. I’ve got water buckets that actually turned black from the debris going into it.”

Wilson lives less than a block from the recycling warehouse. He said Wednesday’s fire shook homes surrounding the building. 

“The houses were trembling from the blasts, the houses would shake,” said Wilson. “A lot of people would, you know, they would come out and they really didn’t know what was going on until they really saw the big balls of fire.”

Firefighters from across the region were at the warehouse Wednesday morning when the original call went out about the 5-alarm fire. 

“A blaze of that nature, one fire department couldn’t handle it,” said Wilson. “So, you wind up with 200 different firefighters coming over. Which was really good for everyone working together to try to prevent a chaotic situation.”

On Interco’s website, it stated the company recycles industrial materials, batteries, computers, metallic powders, and much more. Wilson said he is worried about his health and his neighbors. 

“You could smell it and it’s toxic. You know it’s something that the human body isn’t used to,” said Wilson. “You blow your nose and you’ve got that burning sensation. You blow your nose and you’ve got black smoke or whatever coming out.”

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