The Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department reported a chemical fire at Warsaw Chemical around 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 6. Homes and businesses within 1,000 feet of the building on Durbin Street were evacuated shortly after the fire was reported.
Early reports cited that approximately 200,000 gallons of water were used by fire crews to contain the chemical fire. As a result, there is concern that the water used carried harmful chemicals into nearby Winona Lake.
Winona Lake is being aerated in efforts to both eliminate the presence of harmful chemicals and to provide oxygen to fish and wildlife in the lake.
Dr. Nate Bosch was on site all afternoon to discuss the effects of the incident and to assist in formulating a strategy concerning how to best protect Winona Lake. Samples of Winona Lake have been collected for analysis.
Updates will be released as they are made available. Until then, here is some information you need to know:
- The Center for Lakes and Streams collected samples of the water going into Winona Lake to be analyzed.
- No effects to wildlife in Winona Lake have been reported.
- The Winona Lake Preservation Association has raised the dam to abate the flow of surface water into Winona Lake.
- Vacuum trucks are on site to reduce the risk of chemical spill into Winona Lake.
- The Indiana Department of Natural Resources flew a drone over Winona Lake to monitor any effects.
- Several organizations were on site, many of which included the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Kosciusko County Emergency Management, City of Warsaw Stormwater Utility, Indiana Department of Homeland Security, and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management as well as police departments and several fire crews from the surrounding areas.