Starks residents glad to be back home

By Charlie Bartlett - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Forced to evacuate, these Starks residents will tell you there's no place like home...

"It feels great to be back home. Got to check on our animals, our house was alright, and right now were still a little concerned about what happened," said Keith Hyatt.

"It's wonderful to be back home and to make sure everything is pretty much they way we left it. It's a relief," said Darlisa Taylor.

Nine Starks families were forced to leave their homes Thursday afternoon after a damaged well head leaked dangerous gas from a faulty valve.

"It was kind of rough because when they evacuated us, they gave us only moments. We had to leave with what we were wearing and get out, "said Taylor.

"It was terrible being away from home, not knowing what we were going to have left when we got back or even if we got to come back," said Hyatt.

Most stayed at the Days Inn Hotel in Orange, Texas, but Darlisa Taylor ended up evacuating to her parent's house. Taylor says she's hasn't been feeling well since she was potential exposed to dangerous fumes.

"I've been itching head to toe. I've had no explanation and nothing has been able to stop it," said Taylor.

Keith Hyatt is also worried.  His wife saw the smoke and drove through it.

"I'm worried about my wife because she drove through that smoke and didn't know what it was. It got through her throat and she could taste the stuff. She called 911 and the man told her she needed to leave, "said Hyatt.

Things are back to normal at the wellhead site, but now crews are working on environmental cleanup. With residents back home, some are still very concerned with their living conditions.

"We're really wondering and worried about the impact it's going to have," said Taylor.

"Well, it's happened now and we are going to be very leery over it. We need those questions addressed and let us know something, "said Hyatt.

There have been no reports of serious injuries.  Meanwhile residents wait for answers while the matter for now remains under investigation.

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