Dealing with damage after massive tire fire

TORRINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — It’s been nearly five months since a massive fire in Torrington destroyed a large warehouse. One woman who lives right next to the property claims that fire left her home unlivable.

The April 3 fire burned for hours, sending thick black smoke into the neighborhood. Burned rubber from the tires inside the warehouse mixed with water and flowed into many yards and streets. A homeowner who spoke with News 8 said she’s still seeing the lasting effects of it all.

ORIGINAL STORY: Hundreds respond to Torrington blaze

Fire at the Toce Brothers tire warehouse in Torrington. (WTNH George Roelofsen)
Fire at the Toce Brothers tire warehouse in Torrington. (WTNH George Roelofsen)

“We were evacuated shortly after the fire started and we haven’t been back since,” Tara Holmberg said. “The condition of the house is such that we can’t live there.”

Holmberg says the inisde of her house has smoke damage from the fire, and the burned rubber from the warehouse ended up in her yard. She’s especially concerned since she has health issues.

“The outside of the property is coated, if you look closely, with oil and tar and things from the fire.”

Holmberg has gotten a lawyer. Both say they want answers.

“My client owns this house and she can’t live there anymore,” Attorney Rachel Baird said.

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Baird tells News 8 she has written to O & G Industries, but heard nothing. She’s also waiting for contamination results for the property. Earlier in the day Friday professional movers came in to clean out the house.

“We already wrote to the Health District and indicated ‘listen, this house is not going to be kept up because we are worried about going on the property’,” she said. “Who wants to go on that property and stir it up.”

Despite all the concerns over contamination on this property News 8 noticed that the crews removing all the items weren’t wearing any protective gear. And they said they would stay inside until our camera stopped rolling.

“We believe that as the next door property owner, (O & G) should buy this property and take this off my clients hands,” Baird said. “That’s what we are looking for.”

News 8’s calls to O & G Industries for comment on the matter have not been returned.

The fire marshal tells News 8 the cause of the fire is still undetermined.

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