Alton residents worried about chemical contamination from recent fire
Tue, 22 Mar 2011 00:46:43 GMT —
Alan Rodriguez counts his blessings as he looks at the debris left over from a warehouse fire nearly two weeks ago.
I just came out here and saw that the fire was at the fence, Rodriguez said.
A thick cloud of smoke covered this neighborhood near Inspiration Road and Four Mile Line in Mission.
Residents, like Rodriguez, were told to get out of their homes because the smoke was going inside.
"I just got all my clothes, my wife's clothes, and we just took all the vehicles out," Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez TMs home is not insured. All the family could do was watch as the flames inched closer.
This is everything we have, Rodriguez said.
The house was spared, but the family had to stay away for two days following the blaze.
We stayed at my mom TMs house, Rodriguez said.
When Rodriguez and his family returned home it was bittersweet. He said smoke had infiltrated the walls and caused the family to suffer from headaches.
"When we came back it would smell and we'd feel light headed," Rodriguez said.
He said he and his wife watch as investigators rummaged through the debris---some carried samples of the soil and others tested the air.
The guy had a chemical device and he told us not to be around it that much, Rodriguez said.
The headaches have since gone away, but Rodriguez is fearful of what he and his family could have been breathing all this time.
Action 4 News contacted the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to ask about chemical contamination.
They said, since the case is still ongoing, they cannot release any information on their findings.
Having survived a potentially fatal circumstance"Alan and his family now have to wait to see if any hidden damages to their health emerge later.