Residents in eastern New York given all-clear to leave homes

Thursday August 2, 2012

WEST GHENT, N.Y. (AP) -- Residents near a massive fire at a transformer recycling company in eastern New York have been given the all-clear to leave their homes and open their windows again as firefighters have put out most of the blaze.

Officials had urged people to stay indoors after a fire at TCI of New York broke out Wednesday night in a small industrial park 25 miles south of Albany. Officials say Thursday tests of soot from the fire show no evidence of PCB contamination. Tests results for dioxin, a potential byproduct of the burning, are expected by Friday.

The fire was almost completely out by Thursday afternoon. The investigation of the cause continues.

TCI's web site says it disposes of electrical equipment containing poly-chlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs.

Two firefighters suffered unspecified injuries.

About 40 homes were evacuated and Columbia County officials had advised residents within a 15-mile radius to remain indoors with windows closed and air conditioning units off.

Massachusetts officials kept up the precaution that people stay indoors because the smoky plume was tracking eastward.

Ghent Town Supervisor Lawrence Andrews said he could recall just one other fire at the business, but it wasn't as serious as this blaze.


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