UPDATE: I’ve spoken with Rick Georgeson, a public information officer for the DEC, and he is going to attempt to pull any records the State might have of hazardous materials stored onsite at TCI.
UPDATE #2: The Associated Press is calling the fire “stubborn” and that “Police say the firefighters are spraying foam Thursday morning because they don't know exactly what is burning. A reader reports as of 1 pm that a dark plume is still visible from Route 66 heading north toward Chatham.
A reader in the Ghent/Stockport area just sent in the above photo of a lingering plume this morning from TCI’s fire. As previously noted, one County official has said that at its peak, this plume was two miles long.
Another reader reports an as-yet unconfirmed rumor from a Columbia Memorial Hospital worker that the National Guard was brought in to assist firefighters. Anecdotally, CMH has apparently had some walk-ins with eye and throat irritation.
The Berkshire Eagle reports on air quality warnings across the border in Massachusetts:
A Great Barrington emergency management team issued telephone calls around 5 a.m. on Thursday to residents of Egremont, Alford, Sheffield and Great Barrington about the fire in West Ghent and the possibility that their may be toxic fumes drifting their way in an air plume because of the wind patterns. As of 8:15 a.m., the alert has been expanded to Stockbridge, West Stockbridge, Richmond and Sheffield. Residents have been warned to close their windows and not use air conditioners which may filter polluted air into homes.
Meanwhile, while some Hudson officials have attempted to tamp down concerns, The Catskill Daily Mail reports that even eastern Greene County residents are advised to turn off their A/Cs and stay inside. The paper writes:
Occasional explosions were heard inside the building, including one series that resembled rolling thunder, causing some spectators to run in the opposite direction.
“There are a lot of hazardous materials here,” said Emergency Medical Services Coordinator P.J. Keeler. “That’s our concern.” Keeler was pulling a cooler that had dozens of water bottles stacked on top of it.
County Emergency Management Director William Black said the building contained big mineral oil tanks, two tractor trailers of fuel oil, fork lifts with propane tanks, and other hazardous substances. “It’s the combination when they mix we have to be concerned with,” he said. “There’s sodium in there.”
Here is a handy link if you want to follow media reports of the event on Google News.