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Ash falls from large fire in La Porte onto Deer Park homes

Ash from the fire is falling from the sky on homes, cars and lawns.

LA PORTE, Texas — The storage tank fire at Intercontinental Terminals Company in La Porte is producing ash. It's falling from the sky on homes, cars and lawns.

"I love Deer Park, everything about Deer Park, it's just been a great community," said Julie Johnson, who has called it home for 30 years.

From the highway far away, to the entrance of the city, it's a community now overshadowed by a big dark cloud.

"Every now and then you do get a gasoline smell," Johnson said. "I guess my only question is, why did it get so big? Why couldn't it be contained?"

She showed us the ash in her yard all over the ground.

"Is it really safe? I know smoke rises and it's going a different direction, but obviously things like the ash are just floating wherever," Johnson said.

"It's on our car. If it's on the car, it's in our lungs. We are breathing it," said Jorge Guerra, who also lives in Deer Park.

What they're breathing is their concern.

"I started feeling sick, I'm sure this has some effect on it," said Anita Guerra, his wife.

They're worried because the state's two closest air quality monitoring locations went down.

"I want to know what time they came up and what's the actual data," Guerra said.

Back at Johnson's house, on her mind is what will be left behind after the smoke clears.

"What's going to happen 5 to 10 years from now from this?" she said. "Hopefully it will be alright. I pray that it will be. That's all we can do, right?"

Independent air quality monitoring crews will be on the ground Tuesday. A spokeswoman for the Environmental Defense Fund says her organization will be dispatching crews alongside the City of Houston.


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