Industrial Fires Raise Environmental Concerns

July 19, 2011 Updated Jul 19, 2011 at 6:53 PM EDT

By Kyla Igoe

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July 19, 2011 Updated Jul 19, 2011 at 6:53 PM EDT

Buffalo, NY (WKBW)- The Clean Air Coalition of Western New York is awaiting test results after taking air samples on Chandler and Dorothy Streets, the sites of two major industrial fires. Last week, oils and grease burned for at least 24 hours at Niagara Lubricants on Chandler street. Heavy black smoke could be seen for miles. Monday, Titanium was a blaze on Dorothy Street after the Goldman Titanium building caught fire. Both fires required Buffalo Firefighters to use special foam. The fire on Chandler Street was so massive, it depleted the department's entire supply so crews had a vendor deliver the substance on site to the Dorothy Street blaze.
Some lawmakers are now calling on businesses to re-examine their internal procedures so everyone stays safe.

"We don't know why some of these companies are having more and more of these instances," said Buffalo Common Councilman Richard Fontana. "That's our main concern, if you're doing business in the community where there are homes near you, you really need to tighten up procedures."

Officials at Goldman Titanium say steps have been taken to eliminate fire hazards. The owner of Niagara Lubricants says he's taking action as well to work with the community. The Clean Air Coalition of WNY hopes through education these types of fires can be prevented.

"It will take organized communities, that are active and are pro-active," said Erin Heaney, Executive Director of the Clean Air Coalition of Western New York. "United we can get answers and make sure this doesn't happen again."

The group expects to receive the results of air samples from the Chandler Street fire in the next few days. The results of the air samples from Dorothy Street will be available next week. The group held a community meeting Tuesday on Amherst Street to discuss residents' concerns.