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The burning of the more-than-400,000 square-foot facility has swept the news, even becoming a national story and grabbing the attention of consumer advocate Erin Brockovich.
October 24th, a post on Brockovich’s Facebook page stated, “The chemical fire at old Ames plant in Parkersburg, West Virginia will burn for several days… I am collecting tons of information… and it’s not good. Please stay out of the smoke… if you smell it, you are suffering harm. Take care of your children and pets… this will impact you for weeks to come.”
The fire started on Saturday, October 22 at approximately 12:30 a.m. The following Monday, Governor Jim Justice declared a state of emergency in the county, according to a news release from his office.
Equally as alarming, according to an article in the Charleston Gazette-Mail, two volunteer fire chiefs in Wood County warned nearly a decade ago that they had “extreme concerns” about the potential for a major fire at one of the local warehouses being used to store large amounts of plastics and unknown other products from area chemical plants, state records show.
The IEI Plastic Plant warehouse might have contained PVC, nylon, carbon black, titanium dioxide, fiberglass, formaldehyde, Teflon and styrene, according to a list from public officials.
Located in a heavily populated residential area, the chemical smoke, odors, gases and fumes permeated the county. The Wood County Commission strongly advised people to stay indoors to avoid inhaling the smoke, especially people with respiratory issues.
Local residents are rightly concerned about potential threats to their health. The legal fallout from the fire could include public and private nuisance and infliction of emotional distress, physical injury, annoyance and inconvenience, and loss of property value. If exposed, plaintiffs are entitled to fair compensation.
Since 1994, Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law has called the Mid-Ohio Valley home. We love being a part of this community. Like many of you, the fire at the former Ames plant impacted our lives. We understand that many of you may have questions about legal options for injuries or losses resulting from IEI Plastic Plant fire. We are happy to answer those questions. Feel free to give us a call. Our number is 304-428-8900.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law