Winston-Salem North Ward City Councilmember and Mayor Pro Tem D.D. Adams is holding public meetings for constituents who were impacted by the Winston Weaver Company fertilizer plant fire.
On Wednesday night, some 200 North Ward residents and concerned citizens gathered in the Hanes Hosiery Community Center to learn more about available resources for those who incurred hardship due to the fire. It was also an opportunity for them to share questions and concerns with their city council representative.
Sabrina Thomas was born and raised in the Piney Grove community and lives one block from the Winston Weaver fertilizer plant. She says following the fire, she feels like a guinea pig.
"The city officials have failed us," says Thomas. "The state has failed us. Because they allowed Weaver Fertilizer to have dangerous, hazardous materials of that magnitude in our community."
Winston-Salem native Phillip Carter would like to see a law that mandates any manufacturer housing hazardous chemicals to install a sprinkler system.
"Why isn't [Weaver] taking responsibility as it relates to facilitating compensation for the people in the area that we know have been impacted?" he says.
Vanda Thomas and her family evacuated their home near the plant on the night of the explosion, fleeing their smoke-filled house in their pajamas and checking into a hotel.
"I want to know who was responsible for monitoring the amount of ammonium nitrate that was approved there at the Weaver fertilizer plant," says Thomas. "Because for me, someone dropped the ball."
D.D. Adams has proposed $1 million towards a relief fund for those within a one-mile radius of the plant. The proposal will be voted on by the city council on Monday.