German Pellets Texas is experiencing its second fire in three months at the Port of Port Arthur. Carla Francis who can see the smoking silos from her porch says that smoke filled her house late Saturday night, and caused her sick father to go on his breathing machine.
“The smell is really awful,” said Francis. “It was to the point where you thought somebody was barbecuing but they really weren’t. The smell got so bad to where it was actually choking you.”
For William Ervin who lives down the street, and woke up in a panic when smoke filled his home, he says the smell almost sticks to you.
“It’s like you buy a brand new car, and someone smokes in it,” said Ervin. “That smoke just saturates everything.”
Paula Chavis, who has lived in the neighborhood for 53 years, wants this issue resolved.
“I believe that we should not have to live in these type of conditions,” said Chavis. “I’ve been here all my life, and if they have to evacuate us, we will have to just do that. I cannot sleep. I woke up, smelling that smoke in my bed room. I don’t believe anyone should have to live this way.”
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is supervising air quality monitoring near the silos and throughout the community. The testing has shown no detectable changes in air quality. The area will continue to be evaluated by TCEQ.
While there aren’t any flames that remain in the silo, the silo is still smoldering so the Port Arthur Fire Department has been spraying the silo with water. Trying to keep the temperature down, and trying to keep the smoke to a minimum. German Pellet officials will be at the Port Wednesday to further assess the situation.