Breaking News
More () »

Southeast Texas's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Southeast Texas, Texas | 12NEWSNOW.com

Deer Park fire raises concern for Port Arthur residents living close to tank farm

A Port Arthur man says his neighborhood has had to evacuate due to chemicals before.

PORT ARTHUR, Texas — For fifteen years, Gary Barbary has lived on Pine Street in Port Arthur.

The giant tanks just up the street are a part of life. Residents say worries come with them. 

"We had a valve blow on West Port Arthur Road, right across from the liquor store," Barbary said. "It melted the vinyl siding on the houses about three or four blocks over."

RELATED: UPDATE: Elevated benzene levels lead to shelter-in-place

RELATED: Elevated benzene levels near Texas petrochemicals facility

The fire in Deer Park has him thinking about the hazards that come with living near a tank farm.

A substance called benzene has caused concern for Deer Park residents and officials following the fire at ITC.

RELATED: Houston ISD limiting outdoor activities at some schools

RELATED: What is benzene? Signs & symptoms of chemical that caused Deer Park shelter-in-place

RELATED: Feds will investigate ITC Deer Park fire after benzene scare

The American Cancer Society describes it as a colorless, flammable liquid with a sweet odor.

It evaporates quickly when exposed to air and The Cancer Society says it is known to cause cancer in both people and animals.

Thankfully, the elevated levels dissipated.

It was tough for people like Gary to think about, and he says he hopes a fire like the one in Deer Park never happens near his house.

"I'm pretty healthy, but you never really know what's going to happen."