Subpoena orders ITC not to destroy evidence related to fire

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The ominous smoke plume is gone, but the ITC emergency, along with the worries it spawned, have not yet dissipated.

Harris County leaders gave updates on the situation, saying the company was served a subpoena and ordered not to destroy any evidence.

Due to the chemical hazards, investigators haven't been able to collect what they need, officials said. The fire marshal added the company is cooperating and said this type of subpoena is typical for these situations.

At a town hall in Pasadena Monday evening, residents like Kenia Escobar lined up to get answers.

"We're not really getting straight answers from ITC," she said. "What are the long term effects going to be, short term effects?"

The town hall was set for last week, but was put on hold after the fire reignited on Friday.

Many attendees shared frustration, health concerns, and a growing sense of suspicion.

"So, you have to wonder if there's something out there that's not being told, because they don't want the public to know," said attendee Cindy Keener.

"We keep seeing the same spokesperson, the same tears and what are we getting from that?" Escobar said.

Town hall organizers like Zoe Middleton with Texas Housers said they hoped to deliver some of those answers, and calm some nerves.

"Information becomes available very quickly, especially in the internet age, and misinformation spreads really quickly," she said.

Attorneys also spoke at the meeting, explaining they have clients that have already signed on for forthcoming lawsuits against ITC.

Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia is telling the public lawyers may be the right people to call.

"My personal advice (for residents) is don't sign any ITC form until they speak to their individual attorneys," Garcia said.

Follow Steven Romo on Facebook and Twitter.
Copyright © 2019 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.