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Neighbors sue for negligence in Grand Prairie factory fire – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Neighbors from a massive fire at a Grand Prairie plastics plant two years ago are suing the company for negligence that left them with lasting health issues.

Firefighters at the time said the Aug. 19, 2020, fire at the Poly America plant started with an explosion. The fire burned for 23 hours before firefighters from several cities extinguished it.

Thick black smoke was visible for miles around.

Neighbor Stacey Mims said he walked through smoke on his way home that morning.

“It was going through the vents, and then when I got home you could see the filaments and debris, little flakes, coming down and you could smell the chemicals,” he said.

Two of the 39 plaintiffs in a new lawsuit against the company spoke about it Thursday with one of their lawyers.

Amber Rodriguez said she fled her home about a mile from the site with her young son that morning.

“We woke up to the smoke inside our apartment and literally had to run away. My son was one year old and we were coughing,” she said.

Dallas attorney Jennifer Kinder is one of the attorneys involved in the neighbors’ lawsuit.

“We know everyone has respiratory issues, long-term respiratory issues,” she said.

The $7.8 million lawsuit seeks $200,000 in damages for each of the 39 plaintiffs.

“And there are a variety of issues they have. Headaches, fatigue,” Kinder said.

The Marshall Drive plant in Grand Prairie processes polyethylene and petroleum based products.

Poly America’s website says the company makes Husky brand trash bags and other plastic products.

Amber Rodriguez said she’s angry the company hasn’t done anything for neighbors since the fire and she hopes the lawsuit will lead to action.

“Apologies; they need to be held accountable for what happened,” Rodriguez said.

Shortly after the fire, electricity supplier Oncor released a statement saying its investigation had concluded that the transmission lines running through the site were intact and were not responsible for what happened.

Kinder said the lawsuit would seek information about the actual cause.

Voicemails and emails seeking comment from Poly America on Thursday were not returned.

Your Photos: Massive Fire at Grand Prairie Plastics Plant