PORT WENTWORTH, Ga. (WSAV) — The investigation at this sugar refinery in the day, weeks, and months following that deadly night in 2008 found that management at this plant, at that time knew the dangers of the sugar dust.

They had talked about it since the 50s but didn’t do enough to stop the explosion.

In was a fireball – in the night sky.

It sparked chaos inside the shattered sugar plant.

A detailed federal investigation, that took months, found combustible sugar dust that built up in an enclosed lower-level conveyer belt sparked an explosion that leveled most of this refinery.

“It’s 15 years for the city and everyone else. But for me and my family, it literally feels like something that just happened to us,” Roebuck told News 3.

Kenyatta Roebuck was 16 years old and working at her first job when a friend called to tell her to check on her mom.

Patricia Procter who was working at Imperial Sugar to provide for her four children, was among the six people who died in the weeks after this explosion.

A death toll that rose to 14 – Kenyatta says it is still hard to talk about.

“It’s a feeling. Something, a memory rushes back in. I still get emotional still.”

At the time it happened, the more than 8.7 million dollar fine OSHA leveled against Imperial Sugar was the 3rd largest in the agency’s history. It found 118 violations at the Port Wentworth plant.

But a fine doesn’t fill the hole that the blast left behind.

“It’s a very complicated question, but the kid in me the little girl in me that still yearns for her mother, I do. You look for someone to blame and I still wonder if there was something else that could have been done.”

Kenyatta has devoted the majority of the 15 years since this tragedy, years growing up without a mother, mentoring children in foster care who are also growing up without a parent. 

She says that’s how she’s honoring her mother’s memory—adding that she is helping to raise money for a Savannah area non-profit now by being part of this year’s local Dancing with the Stars fundraiser.

You can support Kenyatta’s mission by clicking here.