The 26-story Deutsche Bank building near the World Trade Center site caught on fire on August 18th. Two firefighters were killed trying to put the fire out. The building is currently unoccupied and being cleaned up of toxic substances before being demolished. The building was damaged on September 11th when the south tower of the World Trade Center fell on it.
The Aug. 18 blaze at the black-shrouded building began on a floor layered with asbestos, World Trade Center dust, lead, mercury and other toxins. About 15 floors of the building had yet to be cleaned of toxic debris, and several of them have now been exposed with broken, open windows. Work stopped at the site this week after a second accident injured two more firefighters, postponing further repairs.
Residents in the area worry about toxic dust and fumes from the fire and from the building now being exposed to the wind and elements. Many people have reported coming down with some form of World Trade Center Illness since September 11th. Monitors put in place by the city show limits are within Federal Safety Standards, but there are skeptics that feel more testing should be done.