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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."

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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.

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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."