Sixty days later, toxic fire debris still not removed | LETTER TO THE EDITOR

"During the fire and to date, excess water runs from the destroyed building down Main Street to the Cedar River where it enters the river unfiltered in any way."

Sixty days ago (July 23) the strip mall next to my house (where Bronson Way meets Second Street South and Main Street South) was destroyed by fire. Two restaurants, one social service agency and a glass company were destroyed along with many jobs.

Since the side of the building facing Second Street South collapsed onto the street, it was scooped up and deposited in the parking lot near our house to open up the traffic lanes. Unfortunately, a main pedestrian sidewalk used by many Renton High students and senior citizens continues to be blocked. The overall appearance of this corner resembles a Third World combat zone.

Meanwhile, many “city hall” people are patting themselves on the back for allegedly “making improvements in downtown.” Before making improvements, does anyone believe that some major messes such as the toxic debris next door should be removed to a proper dumping ground?

I know that a lot of toxic water ran down into this house basement like a new river during the fire ruining the water heater and furnace. The carbon, tar, etc., that accumulated against the side of this house is quite thick and I get an involuntary whiff whenever it starts to rain.

During the fire and to date, excess water runs from the destroyed building down Main Street to the Cedar River where it enters the river unfiltered in any way. With the rains of fall coming on, I feel moved to report this to appropriate county, state and federal agencies as nothing has been done over the last two months by the city.

All of this has been further exacerbated by the construction start of a multi-story commercial building (is this an improvement that the city people are taking credit for?) that resulted in blocking the sidewalk opposite the burn-out so that children and seniors are forced to walk in a Second Street traffic lane hedged in by barrels. It is my hope that a driver is not texting when arriving at this triple intersection.

One improvement that the city “leaders” could make is to name this section of downtown Renton the great Rube Goldberg Sidewalk/Street maze to forewarn the public that chaos and danger are at hand.

Karl Forister,

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