ROCHESTER (KDKA) – The DEP says all containerized chemicals have been removed from one of the buildings that contributed to a series of shelter in places in Beaver County.
Plans for waste removal will begin on Monday, the DEP says.
The building reportedly collapsed in late June and then caught fire in mid-July, which complicated getting to the chemicals. Because of this, the DEP said they demolished one of the buildings.
The cleanup started after the former Pool Doctor-Beaver Alkail Products site on the Ohio River’s edge in caught fire.
Around 9 p.m. on July 13, the fire department got calls of smoke at an abandoned building on Sycamore Street in Rochester.
When they got there, they found a gas leak that became flames.
They put up a five-mile shelter in place order. The only chemical they knew was in the building was chlorine. Several roads and bridges, including Route 65, were closed.
The fire was put out with no injuries and all the roads reopened. The shelter in place was lifted just as the sun started to come up.
Around 9 a.m. another fire started. This time, a few yards away from the building in a dumpster that had chemicals in it.
The Rochester Fire Chief believed a chemical reaction started the fire. It caused another five-mile shelter in place and road closures.
Since then, the DEP has been working to clear the site.
They say they will now shift their focus to the larger building which is also partially collapsed. They say they need a structural engineer to give a report before they can decide how to proceed.
The project is expected to take weeks.