Richmond Industrial Fire

On Tuesday April 11, 2023, a warehouse stockpiling plastic and batteries burst into flame. By the next day, it was all over the national news outlets.

My family was among the 2,000 neighborhood residents displaced for the rest of the week.

An enormous column of black smoke was visible as I drove along the western edge of town. Original image.

As I write this, the entire situation is in constant flux. I’ll update this page and make corrections as necessary.


On April 5, 2023, the local weekly ran a cover story about preparations for an East-Palestine-style accident. 6 days later, those preparations were put to the test. Also in this edition is a story about newly discovered photos from the April 6, 1968 explosion in downtown Richmond.

Follow My Content on the Richmond Fire

Press Interview

I was on WGAL Channel 8 News, a local news channel from where I grew up in Central Pennsylvania.

Government Updates

Relief for Evacuees

The emergency shelter location was announced Tuesday, but the rest seemed to trickle out more slowly.

  • Wayne County Food Pantries
  • Red Cross emergency shelter at Oak Park Pentecostal, 1920 Chester Blvd
    • This shelter is hosting a food pantry
  • Lodging reimbursement – none through local or regional agencies that I’ve found.
    • Contact your homeowners/renters insurance company to ask if they can reimburse costs while under evacuation order.
  • I called 211 social service hotline on Wednesday night and the only information they had was what the city had already published.

An emergency shelter was set up by the Red Cross but only a few people took advantage of it. We went to a motel before I knew about a shelter; we really thought it would be one night. But then it turned into 4 nights.

I read later that the Red Cross shelter didn’t allow pets and that an animal shelter was taking in evacuated pets. We had our dog with us and it would’ve been tough to go through this without him. This whole ordeal is difficult for the dog and I wouldn’t feel right leaving him at a shelter for a prolonged stay.

On Thursday, 2 days after evacuation, it was announced that a food pantry was set up at the Red Cross shelter. I don’t know why this wasn’t announced publicly on the first night. It would’ve been helpful information to know.

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