Posted at: 08/03/2012 6:24 PM
| Updated at: 08/03/2012 6:34 PM
By: Beth Wurtmann
GHENT - "I do not see the leaves are filled with soot," said Helen Karasoulas, who was inspecting her garden Friday.
She was looking for specks of soot; fallout from an industrial fire just down the hill from her home in Ghent. The firey explosions starting Wednesday night in the transformer recycling plant, TCI of New York, sending plumes of smoke into the air for 15 hours.
But not on Helen's vegetables, as far as she can see.
"It is a cause for concern but we're not too paranoid we're not too panicked, really," she said.
Helen did have soot on her car, but state and local officials said Thursday that tests showed no reason for concern, such as PCB's that were stored in the plant.
"Our main concern has been since the beginning that everything we can do in our power to make sure everyone's safe that we get things cleaned up and get back to the business we do," said Brian Hemlock, a TCI co-owner.
Hemlock said he doesn't know how the fire started, and that there were fire extinguishers and chemical spill containers on site.
That explanation didn't satisfy residents like Aston Sanders who is still cleaning up soot from his pool, and had worried about getting sick from the fumes.
"Usually companies have something like that put out fires when they start, especially in a chemical dump like they had down there. It's crazy," he said.
"We'd like to work with state and federal officials to come up with plans to prevent anything like this from happening again," said Hemlock.
County officials were expected to release more test results from the air and soot.
Before Wednesday's fire, there was another, smaller fire outside the TCI plant last January. No cause was determined.
Still no word on when or if inspectors have been to the plant in recent months, to check that it's up to code.