EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) – As many figure out their next steps after the East Palestine train derailment, some have decided they can’t return home.
Amy Dettmer and her family live on Taggart Street about 100 feet from the derailment. Amy says the night it happened, she could hear and see the fire outside her window.
That night, police evacuated them and when they finally returned, she says she noticed a chemical smell that burned her eyes and throat.
She says the sound of trains and the railroad’s clean-up work in her backyard is traumatizing.
Amy and her husband have been staying with her sister in New Waterford and their four children have moved on their own.
They have owned the home for 15 years and raised all their kids in East Palestine and now question if they want to-or if it’s safe-for them to return.
She says she would like the railroad to buy out residents.
“That was our home that we were going to be able to pay off, and live in and then maybe move south somewhere. We can’t do any of that now. It’s just, it’s really sad,” said Dettmer.
Dettmer says they have not been able to get a home cleaning appointment through Norfolk Southern since the service was announced, and she doesn’t feel safe being in her house to get any of her belongings.