Evacuation order being lifted at 2p.m. for Lackawanna residents

LACKAWANNA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Heavy machinery methodically tears through the steel– smoke seeping out as the molten materials fall to the ground.

More than 50 hours since being discovered, the fire at the former Bethlehem Steel plant continues burning.  Demolition crews are on site with excavators.

Fire crews say they’re getting a chance to go inside finally, fighting this fire aggressively for the first time since it broke out. They had been working defensively, keeping it contained. They feel they’re making progress on the fire.

From the scene, little smoke is noticeable as the winds shifted and the plume has diminished.

The City of Lackawanna Mayor, Geoffrey Szymanski, is lifting the evacuation order as of 2 p.m. Friday, November 11.  The mayor saying EPA meter readings are continuing to show 0.0 particulates in the air.

State Department of Health officials are on site, per the direction of Governor Andrew Cuomo. The health officials will be going door-to-door when residents return, talking to them about their health and safety in the wake of the massive fire.

Route 5 remains closed at this time and will remain closed until further notice.  Crews will work to demolish the wall closest to the roadway; hoping it will be completed Friday evening. The mayor saying there is a fear it’ll collapse and they cannot open the road until they know the structure is sound.

The cause of the fire remains unknown at this time as the investigation has not officially begun yet, due to the fire actively burning.

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