City Councilmember asks for accountability in wake of chemical fire

Image 1 of 2

The backyard of Aurelia Rendon's Spring Branch home is a mess.

There are two burned out cars, the air conditioning  unit is out and there's damage on the roof. It's all because of what  happened on a day she will never forget.

“It was a very ugly day because I'm scared. Because everything is fire,”  she says.

It was a big fire. The Custom Packaging and Filling Company warehouse was burning furiously. The warehouse contained petroleum based additives and pesticides.

Initially firefighters didn't know what was burning. It took a while to find an employee to tell them what was inside.

District A city council member Brenda Stardig represents this area and calls that confusion unacceptable. Neighbors and first responders deserve better.

“We don't know what we have. We don't know what we don't know. That's a problem so we've got to gather that information. We need a sense of urgency.”

She says the city needs to drastically change how inspections are done.  

In a written statement, Mayor Turner said he agrees changes need to happen.

It reads in part:
"We are working as fast as possible to resolve issues in the fire department and elsewhere, many of which have existed for more than two decades.  As we endeavor to do this, it is important to keep in mind that we are limited by our available resources."

Aurelia Rendon just wishes these proposed reforms had happened before this fire.