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One year later: neighbors look back on fire at old Bethlehem Steel plant

Posted at 6:32 PM, Nov 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-09 18:32:34-05

Mark Pacillo has lived in Bethlehem Park in Lackawanna his entire life. His father and uncles worked at Bethlehem Steel before it shut down and Pacillo was at home last year when a fire broke out in the old steel plant.

"I'll remember that forever. It was pretty crazy," he said Thursday, exactly one year later.

Pacillo and his neighbors walked down the street and watched a major piece of Western New York history burn. The neighborhood was eventually evacuated over concerns with air quality.

Crews can still be seen cleaning up the site of the fire. A private company is handling the rest of the demolition and the City of Lackawanna hasn't been given any kind of timetable as to when that might be finished.

But, for neighbors like Pacillo, it still feels surreal that none of the homes in Bethlehem Park ever caught fire.

"We might have been here interviewing what our houses used to be instead of still being here," Pacillo said. "That was really a Godsend that the smoke was going the other way. Not for those people out that way, but it was a Godsend for us to help us."