OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Much like the large plumbs of thick black smoke from Monday night’s fire at the Nox-Crete facility, a lot of things were left in the air for Kimara Snipes who lives in a neighborhood nearby.
"It was kinda scary," Snipes said. "I have not experienced something like that before and being someone that’s action-oriented, I was just curious as to what was gonna happen and what we were supposed to be doing."
Snipes is just one of many in the community with several questions following the chemical fire, many focusing on potential effects on health and the environment.
Wednesday night, a community meeting held just blocks from the fire site featured officials from various departments representing The City of Omaha and The State of Nebraska to try and answer some of those questions.
Officials said tests of the air and water are being conducted. However, they weren’t able to identify the chemicals released from the fire. Also under scrutiny was the decision to put water on the fire since it was chemical-based.
Snipes says as far as the city’s overall response to the fire is concerned, there’s room for improvement.
"People didn’t have answers," Snipes said. "I don’t understand why the city, the county and everyone else cannot seem to figure it out when it comes to communicating with everyone."
Snipes said communication is key when dealing with community concerns at this level. She said she hopes the city learns important lessons from this fire and applies them in the future.
"Get the right people involved sitting at the table to help you figure out what you can do better," Snipes said. "Collaborate (and) partner with people."