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Johnston, R.I.

Metal recycling plant fire prompts evacuations

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A fire at a metal recycling plant prompted Rhode Island authorities to tell nearby residents to leave their homes on Sunday. The blaze at the Schnitzer Steel plant in Johnston was reported shortly after 2 p.m. Sunday and sent thick smoke into the air. Johnston officials were not immediately available for comment Sunday. A public safety dispatcher said most officials were at the scene. Police told the Providence Journal that the smoke may have been toxic. Officers moved reporters and other onlookers three blocks from the plant and told people who live near the company to leave their homes. Schnitzer Steel Industries Inc. is based in Portland, Ore., and has plants across the United States and Canada.

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