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Plan for Towering Fire: Let it Burn Overnight, officials say - Eric Alvarez

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HICKMAN COUNTY, Tenn.-- The plan for a massive fire at a plastic recycling plant that was so big firefighters couldn't go near it, was to let the fire burn itself out overnight, county mayor Steve Gregory said.

     The tower of smoke rose hundreds of feet in the air over Hickman County and turned the quiet community of Wrigley into a hectic scene.

I just started screaming and come over here because they said Wrigley was on fire, said Rhonda Kelly, 52.

Kelly was just one of dozens of residents told to stay back, from the flames that sparked around 10:00 a.m. at the Industrial Plastic Company's recycling plant.

County mayor Steve Gregory said more than a dozen people work at the company and that some were inside the plant when the fire started.

Gregory says there were no serious injuries but described he fire as the biggest he'd ever seen in Hickman County.

"Virtually every surrounding county has sent in their fire teams, rescue squads, fire departments, Gregory said.

The county evacuated four east Hickman public schools and transferred students to Centerville for the day.

Amid the confusion, families were split up, all while the smoke, continued rising with no end in sight.

They said, you can't go up in there, Kelly said.  I said, oh yes I can that's my family. You're going to check on your family.

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