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 May 14, 2005
Homes evacuated as Plainfield mill burns
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PLAINFIELD, Conn. (AP) -- As a mill complex in Plainfield continues to burn tonight, residents who find debris in their yards are asked to call the fire department.

Officials say debris from a fire at the InterRoyal Mill complex could contain asbestos. Residents are urged to shut their windows and stay indoors.

As the fire started around seven p-m, flames shot hundreds of feet into the air and smoke could be seen for miles. Fire departments from around the region and state and federal environmental officials responded to the scene.

No injuries were reported from the fire, and the cause was not immediately clear.

The mill closed its doors after the office furniture manufacturing business went bankrupt in 1985. Part of the site was used for plastic recycling in the early 1990s, but the complex has been vacant since 1992.

Fire officials have said for years that a fire in the mill would force the evacuation of hundreds of people, the Norwich Bulletin reported last year. Chemicals from years of manufacturing have seeped into the building and surrounding land.

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