By SANCHESKA BROWN
Tribune Staff Reporter
FIREFIGHTERS battled an aggressive fire near the New Providence Landfill yesterday, sending thick plumes of smoke into nearby homes and neighbourhoods.
This is the fourth serious fire to erupt in the area near the city dump since March.
Fire Chief Walter Evans told The Tribune that the fire broke out around 1pm on Monday at the Septic and Sludge Facility of the Water and Sewerage Corporation, which is near the City Dump.
“We got a call shortly after 1pm that the dump was on fire, but after we did our investigations we determined it was the Water and Sewerage Sludge Facility that was on fire again. We sent a team of two fire trucks to try and out the blaze. At this point in our investigations it is too early to determine the cause of the blaze but it is a pretty big fire,” he said.
About two weeks ago, two septic lagoons caught fire at the Water and Sewerage Facility, sending thick black smoke into the air. It took firefighters four days to extinguish the blaze.
Supt Evans is advising residents in the surrounding area to seek medical attention at the nearest clinic because of the amount of smoke in the area.
Since the beginning of March, firefighters battled three separate fires at the City Dump, which were suspected to be acts of arson.
Fumes from the fire forced the closure of both Aquinas College at Gladstone Road and the Meridian School at Unicorn Village, just off JFK Drive. Officials said the air quality was too poor to allow students to continue attending classes.
However, Deputy Director Thomasina Wilson said that the fire and thick smoke in several areas was no reason for residents to evacuate their homes.
Ms Wilson said people needed only to keep their windows closed, adding that officials saw no need for tests to be carried out to determine the toxicity of the air.