Steel Plant Fire Aftermath

PHOTO CREDIT: Brynn Biesik

On November 9th, the residents of Lackawanna and surrounding towns were evacuated from their homes due to the thick, possibly toxic smoke rolling through the air.

The building that caught on fire used to store recyclable materials. The cause of the fire was unknown.  No one was harmed during the fire, expect for some residents in the area whose homes filled with smoke and soot. Rosalie Constable, a freshman at Hilbert College was one of the residents who was harmed due to the plethora of smoke in her home.

“So what happened that morning was, I evacuated my house with my family and dog. We went to my aunts house for the day, but by that evening my mother called me telling me we were allowed to go back home because it was safe for our neighborhood, and the air wasn’t toxic. After that I went home and the air was so smoky it burned my throat and it hurt to breathe in. It smelled like burnt rubber and some sort of stinky chemical. The next day I woke up with a cough. My cough got worse throughout the day and I wasn’t able to sleep because I was coughing so much. By Friday I was extremely sleep deprived, and my cough was terrible. There was dark mucus coming up with my cough. My boss sent me home from work insisting I should go to the doctor. Saturday I went to the doctor I told her it hurt to breathe, she listened to my lungs and prescribed me an inhaler. I used it every four hours for four days, it wasn’t doing anything. I couldn’t sleep because I could not stop coughing, and I couldn’t breathe right. So Wednesday I went back to the doctor, it’s been one week since the fire. She sent me for a chest X-ray. My first class wasn’t until 11, so I managed to do all this in the morning. After my X-ray they said my doctor would call my home phone with the results in a few hours. I went to class in the mean time and managed to give a speech while gasping for air and coughing uncontrollably. My professor seemed to understand. After my last class, I went home to get ready for work. When I got home there was a message on the phone from my doctor, the X-rays showed pneumonia. I had to skip all my classes for the rest of the week and I had to call off from work for the whole weekend. They said I can go back to school and work once they check the X-rays and see that pneumonia has cleared up.”

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