NY State Rejects City’s Request for Funds for Big Fire Costs

Smoke rises from a fire at a former Bethlehem Steel site, Nov. 2016, in Lackawanna, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

A western New York city won’t be getting state aid to cover the costs linked to a massive fire at a former steel plant last fall.

The blaze started Nov. 9 in a large building on the Bethlehem Steel site in Lackawanna. The fire burned for several days and destroyed a structure that housed a business where boats and vehicles were stored.

People living nearby had to evacuate their homes.

Lackawanna Mayor Geoffrey Szymanski (zuh-MAN’-skee) tells WIVB-TV in Buffalo that state officials told him the city would receive financial assistance to help pay for response, demolition and clean-up costs, which topped $650,000.

He now says they’ve been told by state officials say that the city will have to cover the costs.

The state says it provided staff and equipment during the fire.