Jun 16, 2011 12:02 AM by Maddie Garrett

Multi-Chem Claims Center Busy on First Day

Many people are already out hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars as a result of the Multi-Chem explosion on Tuesday. Now those people are turning to the company for help. KATC was at the Multi-Chem claims center Wednesday afternoon as the reimbursement process began.

Whether it's the little things like gasoline to run a generator or rotten food in the fridge, or bigger worries, dozens of people arrived at the claims center looking for answers.

"Where are we going to get the money for them to eat tonight? As well as like I said the gas, you got to put more gas in your car and so forth. And then as far as the hotel again for tonight, who's going to pay for that?" asked Sharon Vitatoe as she waited in line.

People said they were making claims on everything from cars lost in the fire, to hotel costs and even time missed from work. The list of people affected by the explosion and the variety of claims are growing.

"Whatever they can do to help us, we really appreciate it as well as every body else in the community," said Vitatoe.

Multi-Chem Vice President Blake Gage said right now the company is gathering information on people filing claims. Multi-Chem hasn't set aside an exact amount of money for those claims though because they're taking a "wait-and-see" approach. Gage also said it's hard to predict how many people will come in to file claims.

"We realize that what works today may not work tomorrow, so we're going to be very adaptable as to how do we meet those needs and who has the needs," explained Gage.

Gage said Multi-Chem is already working with area hotels and plans to reimburse everyone forced to leave their homes.

"We want to make sure that they're taken care of," said Gage.

As of Wednesday, many people at the claims center said they felt confident they would get reimbursed. However, there were many questions about how long that would take and if the company would be picking up the tab for hotel and food costs right away.

"I think it's very fair. From what they've been saying it won't be any problem to get our compensation for the things that we've lost," said Linda Broussard, who was filing a claim on Wednesday.

The Multi-Chem claims center is located at the Francis Romero Memorial Park in New Iberia, located on Coteau Road. It will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Thursday. You can also call (866) 298-2558 for claims assistance.



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