South city warehouse fire

A fire rages out of control in a warehouse after walls collapsed during a five-alarm fire in St. Louis Wednesday. Nearly 200 St. Louis firefighters battled the warehouse containing numerous paper products and nearly 200,000 candles. Photo by Bill Greenblat/UPI

(St. Louis Public Radio) - Environmental Protection Agency officials say there is no evidence of asbestos in the debris from an intense fire that occurred in south St. Louis last week.

Officials from the EPA and the St. Louis City Department of Health presented the findings at a Shaw Neighborhood Association meeting Monday night. The EPA sent 80 samples to a laboratory to be tested for asbestos. The first 21 were sampled on Friday in areas close to the warehouse on Park Avenue and test results indicated that three of them contained asbestos fibers.

That prompted the city department of health to request additional samples that were collected the next day in areas downwind from the site.

"We went out and did 59 more samples on Saturday," EPA spokesperson David Bryan said. "Of those samples, all were non-detected for asbestos."

Bryan advised residents to dispose any fire debris found on their property. Short-term exposure to asbestos is not likely to harm a person's health; only continued exposure to the substance over many years could raise a person's risk of getting cancer.

The St. Louis City Fire Department also conducted air monitoring and tested for hazardous substances, including benzene and other volatile organic compounds that are known to be human carcinogens.

Monitoring results indicated only an increase in carbon monoxide levels. However, St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson said the department needs more information on what items were stored in the warehouse.

Republished with permission of St. Louis Public Radio:

You must be logged in to react.
Click any reaction to login.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.