Lockport residents express concerns after plant fire

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LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) — Three weeks after crews battled a massive fire at High Tread International, Lockport residents have a list of concerns for city officials.

The fire caused 200 homes to be evacuated. Residents say the evacuation was disorganized.

“Nobody was officially told on our street that we were being evacuated, it was by word of mouth and a lot of people did not want to follow word of mouth, they were going to stay in their home until they were told officially and no one was ever officially told,” said one concerned resident.

As the rubble and debris remains on HTI property, neighbors are concerned about the clean up process and re-building of the plant.

“The piles that are still there, what are they going to do after the piles are gone, when can they move the piles,” asked Jeffrey Artieri, Lockport resident.

“Actually I would like to see it discontinued, but if they’re going to go forward with that I would like to see some security issues,” said Lawrence Senko, Lockport resident.

Neighbors told News 4, since the company isn’t responsible for the fire, they’re left to pick up all the costs.

“We can’t go after their company, our insurance company would have to go after their insurance company, so all our neighbors in the neighborhood has to absorb all the costs, all the power washing and cleaning of your house, anything you’re doing, you’re paying your own deductible through your insurance company,” said Artieri.

City officials say they’ve been listening to residents concerns for weeks now and they’re hoping to make some changes moving forward.

“We wanted to get everybody together so we could put them down on a white board, we’ll take them back, we’re going to sit down and we’re going to come up with a better evacuation plan and some other things,” said Mark Devine, Alderman of the 3rd ward.

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