Working with videographer and filmmaker David McDonald, this site has produced a video interview with two of TCI of NY’s closest neighbors, Dmitri and Barbara Bassakalis. The couple evacuated their house on the night of August 1st, then stayed up all night observing the fire from a safe distance—all the while hoping they would have a house to which to return.
Some key revelations from their interview last Wednesday include:
- According to the couple, a representative of the NYS State Department of Environmental Conservation who visited their site (after Mr. Bassakalis appeared on Albany TV) declined to take a sample of the countless black, oily objects which fell on their deck, cars, lawn and into their pool.
- Instead, the couple says they were told not to worry about the many black objects, and told to simply wash it away. (Note: Their house relies on well water.)
- Mr. Bassakalis, who also works for the State, reports that he was refused entry to the County and State’s joint press conference on Thursday, August 1st, where he had hoped to learn details of what had just happened in his neighborhood;
- At the time of this interview, the couple said they had not been visited by anyone from TCI, and their multiple calls to the company’s insurer Zurich had not been returned.
A request sent to TCI by this site last week, asking to sit down with a representative of the company, has not been answered.
Below is a still image of some of the material observed in their aboveground pool late last week, during a visit with Ghent resident Patti Matheney. Other images and video clips appear in the video by permission from Lance Wheeler, Tony Bashford and Mark Johnson.