Under fire

Smoke forces St James residents indoors

Residents of at least three St James communities have had to keep their windows closed over the past five days as a result of smoke from burning refuse.

The people of lower Westmoreland, Mount Standfast, Park Gardens and as far as Porters Main Road have been affected by the burning garbage on an open spot on Westmoreland Main Road.

Smoke coming from below the ground at Westmoreland Mount Standfast.
Smoke coming from below the ground at Westmoreland Mount Standfast.

Barbados TODAY understands that firemen from the Weston station have discovered that the underground fire was the result of spontaneous combustion of garbage compacted beneath the soil over several years.

One unidentified officer explained this evening that “once you get any garbage pile it would smoke”.

Mount Standfast resident Lian Lucas told Barbados TODAY this morning that she was worried the smoke would become a health hazard.

A resident pointing to ash coming from the spontaneous combustion that settled in her garage.
A resident pointing to ash coming from the spontaneous combustion that settled in her garage.

Lucas said in light of a smoke-related death in Jackson, St Michael last week, health officials should explore ways to bring some relief to the affected communities.

“We have spoken to firemen, we have spoken to other departments and everybody is saying there is not much that can be done because it is an underground fire and the cost for any relief would have to be at the person who was doing the dumping. We can’t say for sure who was doing the dumping or who the land belong to,” Lucas said.

Meanwhile, her neighbour David Jordan said he suffers from coughing spasms and the smoke was aggravating his condition. He said he was forced to keep his windows closed at all times and did not venture outside needlessly.

“I woke up and prayed today for some relief from that smoke and it rained a little. But all we can do is pray and hope for some relief,” Jordan said.

Barbados TODAY contacted Member of Parliament for the area Edmund Hinkson who said he was unaware of the situation but gave an assurance that he would look into it as soon as possible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *