State

Illinois tire recycler reopens months after fire

TILTON – The owners of an eastern Illinois tire-recycling facility that burned in a massive blaze during the summer have reopened in a nearby town.

J&R Used Tire Service Inc. has moved its operation to a former General Motors facility in Tilton after their business in Hoopeston burned in June, Rodney Rogers told The News-Gazette in Champaign. He and his wife, Janie, own the business. Tilton and Hoopeston are in Vermilion County, about 30 miles apart near the Indiana state line.

The fire involved tens of thousands of tires. Many homes in Hoopeston had to be evacuated, and the environmental cleanup at the site took weeks.

"It was just devastating," Rodney Rogers said.

Scott Mulford with the Illinois attorney general's office said an order blocking the company from bringing more tires to the Hoopeston site doesn't affect the Tilton business.

But the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency will inspect the new location monthly for the foreseeable future, the agency's Andrew Mason said.

The business will no longer keep such a large volume of tires on hand, Rogers said.

"We learned a valuable lesson," he said.

The fire caused by static electricity began June 19.

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Information from: The News-Gazette, http://www.news-gazette.com

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