Latest on Lackawanna fire cleanup

Posted at 11:44 AM, Nov 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-14 18:54:23-05

City officials in Lackawanna met this morning to discuss the latest developments concerning cleanup at the fire site on the old Bethlehem Steel Plant along Route 5.

That fire broke out the day after election day sending smoke high enough that it was seen for miles.  It also resulted in the mandatory evacuation of residents in the Bethlehem Park neighborhood.

According to Mayor Geoff Szymanski, the State of Emergency remains in place with New York State and Lackawanna police providing 24 hour coverage.

The Mayor believes it could take months to finish the cleanup from the fire - which will be slowed down when the winter weather arrives.

The latest updates from Lackawanna:

-State of Emergency remains in effect

-Streets close to the fire scene will remain blocked off to protect crews still working and keep out cars with curious residents looking to get a different view.

-The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation continues to monitor the air quality.

-Lackawanna is looking to bring in its own air monitoring equipment to make sure residents are safe.

-Firefighters are still putting out hotspots.  It could take another two weeks to extinguish all hotspots.

-Buffalo Fire has pulled out most of its crews and equipment.  Lackawanna Fire is now handling the scene.

-Some residents are reporting heavy smoke damage to their homes.  It is advised to report problems to insurance companies.

-Fire investigators are digging through the rubble to determine a cause.  Mayor says there is no indication of what caused the fire even though some reports said it may have been related to a bulb on combustibles.

-The cost of the fire is still being calculated because the expense is continuing to rise.

-Mayor says the building was "grand-fathered" in when it came to fire suppression systems  City officials are still looking to see what the owner's insurance will cover.

-Lackawanna has reached out to state and federal officials to see what aid might be available to help cover the cost of fighting this massive blaze

7 Eyewitness News Reporters Josh Bazan hand Ed Reilly have the latest developments in reports broadcast live from the fire scene.