Shelter in place advisory lifted in Carthage

WWNY Shelter in place advisory lifted in Carthage

CARTHAGE, N.Y. (WWNY) - Carthage officials have lifted the shelter in place advisory for residents who live near the scene of a chemical fire.

According to the Carthage Fire Department’s Facebook page, crews have and will continue to monitor air quality throughout the village.

“Through extensive monitoring we have not had any hazardous readings. We still ask the public to stay cautious and avoid going into areas with visible smoke. Crews are currently still working to mitigate the incident. We thank everyone for being patient and will continue to work at resolving the incident,” officials said.

On Tuesday, officials urged residents within a 5-mile radius to shelter in place due to a fire on Tannery Island that officials believed was releasing toxic fumes into the air.

Officials told 7 News Tuesday that unknown liquid chemical is burning inside the old Island Paper Company on the island, which is in the Black River between Carthage and West Carthage.

“We actually have the hazmat team back down at the site. They’re going to try to get a sample of the product that’s actually burning a little bit,” said Carthage Fire Chief Brian Draper on Wednesday.

Draper is hoping to know what the chemical is later Wednesday so emergency crews can finally put out the fire. One firefighter was injured at the scene Tuesday night and taken to Carthage Area Hospital, treated and released.

Some places decided to close for the day Wednesday, including Carthage Free Library and Carthage Federal Savings. The bank’s executive vice president said he realized something was off.

“We noticed this morning when we came in that the air seemed - there was a definite smell in the air, that there was something going on,” said Dale Klock, Carthage Federal Savings.

The village’s historian says that fires are common at the paper mill because it used to be a tannery and stored a lot of wood and tree bark.

“There have always been fires there because any place that has a lot of wood is prone to that type of problem,” said Lynn Thornton, Carthage historian.

The public is still requested to avoid the area of Brown Street since the chemical fire is still active, officials said.

According to officials, crews from Jefferson County Hazmat and the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control are still working to extinguish the fire.

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