|Updated: 11/13/2013 12:12 am
||Published: 11/12/2013 11:42 pm
For six months FOX23 has been talking to dozens of people in Bristow who are worried and wondering why in their little town, so many are getting sick.
We followed up with six victims: Sherry, Michelle, Cindy, Goldie, Jeff and Denise.
These six people have a story to tell all too alike.
Sherry Elias told FOX23, "I hate it… that it's come to this."
All from Bristow, the same tiny town of 4,000 people.
Cindy told us, "It's way too much for our town."
They say they have the same problem.
Michelle Morquech responded to our questions, "Everyone's talking about it."
"It something in or around Bristow," Jeff told FOX23. "We don't know what it is."
Denise Sargent's lost her son Tyler and others say it's made their friends and family sick.
"It seems so raw," Sargent said.
"It's devastating," Goldie said.
"Seemed like every week we were attending a funeral," Sherri Elias said. "Something was just off,"
Elias tried to tell FOX23 about all her friends who have died.
However her pain became unbearable and kept her from talking right then, "I'm sorry…"
A couple years ago, she helped start a group called "Cancer answers for Bristow."
Morquecho said, "Something’s making us sick."
Morquecho collects the data for the group.
She has information on diagnoses and deaths going back a decade.
The youngest was a brain tumor that was three months old.
Now her list has grown to more than 950 people.
Frustrated, they turned to Erin Brockovich.
Julia Roberts portrayed her in a movie based on her endeavors to help a town with an environmental problem.
The real Brockovich took Bristow's case.
Bob Bowcock told FOX23, "we get 100 to 500 requests a day"
FOX23 spoke to the Brockovich team, an environmental investigator Bob Bowcock by Skype. He told us, he's been to Bristow several times and agrees, "absolutely there's something wrong in Bristow and we need to get to the bottom of it."
People in Bristow told FOX23 they've been most concerned about the drinking water,
However, Bowcock ran some tests and they came back good. Even the state data also suggests a drinkable water supply.
Bowcock thinks the problem lies in the soil or air.
He gave us a list of industries that have left Bristow.
Some of those sites required government clean-ups, including this fenced off area where Kwikset used to do business.
The DEQ confirmed it's working with Kwikset because of groundwater contamination.
The Environmental Protection Agency lists the Wilcox and Lorraine oil refinery as the only "superfund" site in Bristow.
What's left sits on land on the north side of town and runs on both sides of this railroad track.
Both companies were gone by 1963 and the EPA says they left behind a large volume of visible waste."
It also says "The site contributed at in least in part to the significant increase in the concentration of the hazardous substances."
A church, Bristow First Assembly of God, was built on refinery land.
It had to close.
Neighbors who live near the site emailed FOX23 photos of what they call "sludge" seeping up in their backyards.
As for the number of people in Bristow who have gotten sick, Mayor Ralph Barnett said he's alarmed by it.
Barnett said, "How do we solve it… I don't know. Investigating it to try to isolate it might be a big step forward."
Those who survived sickness or still struggle through their grief
Sargent replied, "I just make it day to day"
She told FOX23, they just want to fight for their town.