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One year later: Massive Ghent plant fire
GHENT -- It was just one year ago that the town of Ghent was covered in black soot. Flames ripped through the TCI plant, and one year later it's a much different story.
"It was quite a night, that night was pretty bad,"Dimitri Bassakalis tells us.
We met Dimitri Bessalis who lives next to the plant, you may remember him showing our crews the soot inside his pool. Neighbors helped him clean the mess
"It's quiet we're all cleaned up life goes on," he tells us.
It was health concerns that had him as well as the rest of the town searching for answers. However, multiple tests later showed there was no threat to public health in the surrounding area.
Right after the fire, assemblywoman Didi Barrett worked tirelessly to keep residents in the town informed. She worked with representatives from eight county, state and federal offices at public information meetings after the blaze to stay on top of cleanup efforts. One year later, she says it was a huge lesson learned for the people of Ghent.
"I think it was a wakeup call for the town and the neighbors that people recognize that they really need to be involved in and need to know what's going on in their communities and that they need to become activists," she tells us.
"Be aware what you live next to, and whats around you, just don't be blind to everything," Bassakalis adds.
After two-months of investigating, the fire was ruled an accident and no charges were filed. Moving forward, a better emergency system is in place with better community outreach.