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Warehouse fire debris tested, community raises funds to replace destroyed toys

ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Officials from the Environmental Protection Agency are in St. Louis to collect samples of debris from Wednesday's massive warehouse fire. They want to determine what, if any, toxic materials were released into the air in the giant plume of smoke.

The five-alarm fire broke out Wednesday morning at a warehouse at 39th and Park in south St. Louis. What started as a  small fire quickly  grew out of control  and within hours  the warehouse  was  engulfed in flames. Everything inside the building was lost to the flames.

EPA officials are helping local fire investigators figure out what caused Wednesday’s massive warehouse blaze and also testing the debris after concerns that the material in the warehouse could have contained asbestos. The EPA said it should know by Monday the results from the samples and will move forward from there.

Meanwhile, many toys meant for children at Shriners Hospital this holiday season were lost in the warehouse fire. The community is coming together to try and replace the toys and  blankets in time for the hospital’s Christmas party. New Country 92.3 and 106.5 The Arch hosted an emergency 12-hour radiothon called Cash for Kids to raise the money needed for the Shriners. The group raised more than $32,900 during the radiothon.

The Shriners said more than 1,500 children have already received invitations.