(KMOV) – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is suing a salvage yard in Cahokia for violations stemming from a massive fire that broke out in April.
Authorities said the April 8 fire at Marty’s Used Car and Truck Parts on Camp Jackson Road was started after workers using a cutting torch to dismantle vehicles ignited a large pile of shredded tire wire.
Parts of the RV that were still burning ignited a pile of shredded tire wire. The fire then spread to sheds containing around 200 tires.
According to Madigan, the fire violated air and water pollution standards.
“This incident was the result of careless site maintenance,” Madigan said. “This legal action seeks to hold the company accountable for the significant damage to the surrounding area as a result of the fire.”
The complaint, filed in St. Clair County Circuit Court, alleges air pollution, water pollution, open dumping, failure to register as a used tire storage facility, improper management of used/waste tires and operation of a solid waste transfer station without an Illinois Environmental Protection Agency permit.
Each count seeks the maximum penalty of $50,000 and an additional $10,000 for each day the violations continue.
Chris Cahnovsky, Regional Manager for the Illinois EPA says it’s not uncommon for fires of that nature to disperse a lot of toxins into the air.
“Tire fire smoke is not a pleasant thing,” he said. “It is irritating to people, it can cause short term health effects for the elderly, children and people with asthma and respiratory problems.”
Anyone who has a health complaint stemming from the fire can call the EPA at (618) 346-5120.