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TEAM COVERAGE: People Affected by Smoke From Industrial Fire
COLUMBUS -- People in the path of the smoke from the three-alarm blaze were forced to either stay inside, or in some cases, not return to their homes.
Confusion and concern from employees of Burton Metal Finishing, Inc. As emergency crews worked to put out a fire at the facility, Mike Miller waited. He's a shipping manager for the company and had already gone home for the day.
"I left about an hour and a half before. I came back to the store right beside it. That's when I noticed smoke coming out of everywhere in the building," Miller said.
As the smoke swallowed parts of the facility, all Miller says he could think about was his future going up in flames with it.
"First thing is, I'm out of a job. I was hoping it wasn't as bad, but it got real bad," Miller said.
The fire also caused tense moments for Erika Walker. She lives near the building.
"They already have breathing issues anyway. So now, we're dealing with chemicals or remnants of whatever. Metals or chemicals that's going on in this building. So it's kind of scary," Walker said.
Firefighters say the only chemicals left from the fire may be in the water runoff. But, employees say they'll be feeling the effects of the disaster for a long time.
"I'm sure we're going to have to clean it up. But, what's that going to entail? Because there,s it's going to be a mess," Miller said.
It's not just employees who are affected by the fire. Miller says he's had customers show up asking if the parts that Burton Metal Finishing works on are okay.