Posted at: 08/02/2012 5:24 AM | Updated at: 08/02/2012 6:13 PM
WEST GHENT, N.Y. (AP) - Firefighters continue to battle a massive fire that has engulfed a transformer recycling company in Columbia County, and officials are telling nearby residents to stay in their homes because of noxious fumes.
The fire at TCI of New York began around 10:15 p.m. Wednesday. Officials in Columbia County say the fire is still burning early Thursday morning. A state of emergency has been declared for anyone living within a half-mile radius of the building.
Emergency officials initially ordered nearby residents to evacuate. They now say people can remain in their homes but should keep their windows closed and air conditioning units off.
At least six local fire companies are battling the blaze in the rural town of Ghent, 25 miles south of Albany. Smoke is pouring from the building and explosions have been heard.
For up to date information on the fire at TCI of NY in Ghent, NY click here.
Information from: Register-Star.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Issued By: Rensselaer County Emergency Management Affected Jurisdictions: Rensselaer County
The following message has been released by Rensselaer county Emergency Management Officials: The Rensselaer County Executive has announced that due to an Emergency condition at TCI, Inc., 39 Falls Industrial Park Rd, Ghent, NY, Columbia County, all persons living or working in the Towns of Nassau, Schodack, and Stephentown, should shelter withing, close all windows, shut off all air conditioning units, and devices that draw in outside air. Residents should be prepared to shelter within for the next 12 hours, and are advised to spend as little time, if any, in the outside environment as possible. This measure is a precautionary measure for your protection. Residents are instructed to NOT dial 9-1-1, unless you have an emergency. For further information, you may contact 266-7684 or 266-7686. As additional information becomes available, it will be provided.
The following message has been issued by Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA):
Due to the eastward track of the plume from the industrial fire in Ghent, NY, located ten miles from the Massachusetts border, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is following the lead of the State of New York and recommending that residents within 15 miles of the fire shelter-in-place. This is particularly for citizens in the communities in the Southern Berkshire County east and south of Alford and Great Barrington.
This is a precautionary action and is recommended is until the exact impact of the chemicals that could be contained in the plume can be determined by Health officials. Those individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions should particularly stay indoors.
Sheltering-in-Place is a standard protective action utilized in Emergency Management during an accident or event in which hazardous materials have been released into the atmosphere. The purpose is to create as airtight as possible enclosures to prevent the exposure hazardous materials.
The following are steps to be taken only when instructed to ‘Shelter-in-Place’, not to be completed ahead of time:
· Those located within the impacted area should immediately go indoors.
· Close and lock all doors and windows. Locking is preferred since it generally ensures that the door or window is shut tight.
· Turn off all air handling systems such as window fans, kitchen & bath exhaust fans, air conditioners, and other sources of outside air. Shut off clothes dryers and seal exhaust vent.
· Close the fireplace flue if it is not in use. (A structure with a burning fire in the fireplace is not a good candidate for sheltering-in-place.)
· Seal off any cracks that could cause leakage to the outside.
· Keep pets indoors.
· If you have livestock, shelter them, also. Provide them with stored feed and water from a covered source.
· Go to an above-ground room with the fewest windows and doors.
· If you are traveling in a motor vehicle, close the windows and air vents. Turn off the heater and air conditioner. Keep the radio tuned to an Emergency Alert Station.
· Go inside a nearby building. If none is available, leave the area immediately.
· Continue to monitor media for official messages and instructions.
· Stay inside until officials say otherwise. Persons with respiratory conditions should not go out at all.