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Mess That Remains From Explosion Upsets Neighbors

Enough is enough for some East Texans, living years near the wreckage of a fatal explosion. They say now is the time for someone to clean up this mess. It was three years ago this past July when the Lamb fireworks warehouse exploded in Kilgore.  

The explosion killed 3 people and destroyed not just the warehouse on Pentecost Road, but dozens of nearby homes as well.   Today, the debris from that explosion is still on the ground and nearby residents say they want it gone.  

It was an explosion that rocked the city of Kilgore.  Rusted metal and abandoned cars is what remains today.

"That's the first thing you see and it's something that we really would love to see removed, cleaned up," says Aneetha Kenney, a resident of Creek street, off of Pentecost Road. 

Kenney lives across the street from the rubble that remains. It took 8 months of repair before she and her family could move back into their home, a total of 100,000 dollars in damage.

"But when we come back to rebuild and get back into our homes, this is still there.  Three years later, it's still here," Kenney says.

So she's turned to the city for help.  Kilgore Mayor Joe Parker says, "As a citizen and as a mayor I'd like to see it cleaned up because it is eyesore when you drive by there. And it's been there long enough now it should be cleaned up."

They say they've contacted the owner Joe Lamb, but so far, nothing's been done.   Lamb says, "I do not know to whom they are writing these letters, but they are not getting to me."

Lamb told us ever since the accident, he and his family have been dealing with both the loss of his father, who was killed in the blast and several lawsuits. "I can't just go in there and clean it up until the lawsuits are resolved and until there is no need for evidence to be there, I have to just sit and wait."

But some residents say they are tired of re-living that day.  Joe Lamb says he feels the same way.  

"Every single day that passes there's something about this accident that still is a part of my everyday life. I don't let it die."

But Kenney says, "I can imagine how he felt losing someone there, but it would help us if he would do something to this over here, clean it up."

Lamb says until lawsuits are finally settled, both will just have to live with the constant reminder of that tragic day.

The City of Kilgore says if still nothing is done after the lawsuits are settled, they will put a lean on Lamb's property and hire a company to clean up the mess.

Tracy Watler/Reporting:

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