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Residents Still Can't Go Home After Explosive Maywood Fire

After an explosive fire at a metal recycling plant in Maywood forced more than 200 residents from their homes, emergency officials Tuesday opened an information center where residents could get answers about contaminants.

The massive fire on June 14 at the plant at 3570 Fruitland Ave. sent explosions into the night sky as the facility, storing 10,000 pounds of magnesium and other metals, went up in flames for days.

Residents on the north side of East 52nd Street between Maywood and Everett avenues remained out of their homes until more testing had been done. Officials said if contaminants are found, cleanup crews will be brought in to make it safe once more.

Those on the south side of East 52nd Street were allowed to return home as the outdoor ash had been cleaned up in the area.

Los Angeles County Supervisors set aside $125,000 to help displaced residents after the site was declared a local emergency.

"There should not be two Americas," said LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis said at a news conference referring to the recent gas leak. "There shouldn't be a difference between what happens in Aliso Canyon and Maywood."

While the South Coast Air Quality Management District determined the air quality is safe, testing will continue every day.

The explosive fire came after the owner of the plant, Da Xiong Pan, pleaded not guilty May 27 to felony charges that the plant improperly stored and disposed of hazardous waste, court documents showed.

The charges filed in the 2013 investigation also indicate the he knowingly disposed of hazardous materials without a permit. Neither he nor his attorney were available for comment on the charges.

The new information center will be located at 52nd St and Everett Avenue will be open seven days a week from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

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