BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A possible chemical spill in Buffalo’s Old First Ward shut down part of South Park Ave. Monday afternoon.
Buffalo Firefighters searched around WNY Industrial Tire for the source of the contamination.
Buffalo Police said a liquid used to fill commercial tires spilled.
The company told News 4 the public was never at risk. Some neighbors, however, said they had trouble breathing.
“I had to go into my house because of the fumes,” said Keith Clear, who lives next to the tire manufacturing company.
He showed us a picture of a black, tar-like substance he said was being dumped near his property as he mowed the lawn on Sunday.
“I noticed the Industrial Tire Company was dumping some type of chemical in the yard and I started having eye irritation, sore throat,” said Clear. “They continued to dump more this morning.”
He said he went to a community center, which called the EPA and emergency crews around 2:30 p.m. Monday afternoon.
“There was definitely an odor back there,” said neighbor Dawn Sibley. “It was just like a really weird smell, kind of like a rubbery type thing.”
She was advised by a neighbor to take the kids at her house inside. They waited about 30 min. as emergency crews arrived.
“It hit me so fast I just really wasn’t sure what was going on,” said Sibley. “It was dangerous to everyone, not just the kids but everyone.”
Police told News 4 multiple neighbors had to be checked out after complaining of health problems.
Industrial tire declined to do an interview. President Heather Rowland said over the phone that polyurethane that’s used to fill tires was put out back to be disposed of and it’s not hazardous.
The DEC Law Enforcement, Spills Response and Division of Water Engineers is investigating.
“This is an ongoing investigation, and additional information will be provided as it becomes available,” said a brief DEC statement to News 4.
We’ve also reached out to the EPA for more information.
WNY Industrial Tire told News 4 it’s been at that location on South Park Ave. for 35 years.