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Cox Heath fire down to smoke that is still affecting residents

-USVI residents are also being affected by the smoke in St John & St Thomas
The smoke from the Cox Heath fire that erupted on May 9, 2018 is causing health concerns from residents on Tortola and the neighbouring [US] Virgin Islands. Photo: VINO
The cause of the fire has yet to be determined, however, government has been engaged in public relations on the seriousness of the fire from statements and comments from the Deputy Governor David D. Archer Jr, to Department of Waste Management boss Greg R. Massicote. Photo: VINO
The cause of the fire has yet to be determined, however, government has been engaged in public relations on the seriousness of the fire from statements and comments from the Deputy Governor David D. Archer Jr, to Department of Waste Management boss Greg R. Massicote. Photo: VINO
Scene from the dump site at Cox Heath today, Sunday May 13, 2018. Photo: VINO
Scene from the dump site at Cox Heath today, Sunday May 13, 2018. Photo: VINO
COX HEATH, Tortola, VI - It was on May 9, 2018 around 5:30 P.M. that a fire blaze erupted at a make shift dump site in Cox Heath on the western end of Tortola.

The Waste Management Department used the area of lease land, as a dump site for all kinds of garbage collected after Hurricane Irma and Maria destroyed the Territory in September 2017, flatting houses, toppling cars, sinking boats, killing humans and animals, knocking out 100% of the electrical grid, uprooting large trees and sporting facilities.

The truth about the fire

The cause of the fire has yet to be determined, however, government has been engaged in public relations on the seriousness of the fire from statements and comments from the Deputy Governor David D. Archer Jr, to Department of Waste Management boss Greg R. Massicote.

Residents in the western area on Tortola have complained bitterly about the smoke and how in some cases they cannot sleep, as the smell is unbearable.

In addition, residents on both St John and St Thomas in the United States Virgin Islands have also had the same complains, while the local government response was to wait until the fire burn out.

No blaze but smoke

A visit today Sunday May 13, 2018 by our roving camera to the site in Cox Heath where it was observed that the flames have gone, but the smoke is still consistent and its unclear when the smoke that is having the most effect on residents health will be gone.

Waste Management Department Head Mr Massicote could not be reached for comments up to publication time.

18 Responses to “Cox Heath fire down to smoke that is still affecting residents”

  • Not good at all. (13/05/2018, 19:45) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is just aweful. I just hope that this fire was not intentionally set as some seem to think because it has caused so many health concerns for so many residents. What a very sad situation!!!
  • wize up (13/05/2018, 20:02) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    It is awful on the western side: who was actually managing that dump site: I can see that smoke go away no time soon: sites like this needs the proper management system; we have the same issues at the pockwood pond site(did no one learn anything.....) unfortunately our people ends up suffering: inhaling those fumes from those 2 dump site is not good: if you are going to designate an area to dump waste materials my goodness the proper checks and balances have to be in place
  • 3rd World Resident (13/05/2018, 20:02) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    I see they are clearing off the area just after the dumpsite on the right (traveling from east to west) at the entrance of the former Groundworks location. Please don't tell me this is to extend this dumpsite to create a repeat of this fiasco. No extension please. Close down this site asap. We won't have it and will march againt it.

    This fire/smoke has and continue to pose VERY SERIOUS health risks to the residents of West End. What will Government do when persons in this area take ill some years down the road???
    • wize up (14/05/2018, 07:28) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ 3rd World Resident: now I will join any march for this very serious matter because that smoke is hazardous to my health and health of my family and the health of all of us.....
    • on board (14/05/2018, 10:56) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      Saw it as well and was wondering what it's all about. To comfort myself I said it's probably the site where a big barge will dock and take it all away. If it's just moving to another location, then this government is really a mess
  • Sick (13/05/2018, 20:08) Like (21) Dislike (0) Reply
    The fire is still burning. It’s not out as these pics suggest. It’s really a horrible situation for us in West End.
  • Really (13/05/2018, 20:36) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    That thing is still on fire. Keep up VINO.
  • cay (13/05/2018, 21:02) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    SMH
  • Fire flames (14/05/2018, 03:17) Like (18) Dislike (0) Reply
    Actually, there are still flames, lots of flames! When you drive by at night you see the flames: blue, green, red and orange. They are not as high as before but they are still there. And I'm not talking about little glowing fire. I mean nice size flames. Come check it out tonight. This thing could flame for weeks.
    • I agree (14/05/2018, 06:09) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
      This is true. The fire still burns. Unless they put it out completely today come and have a look for yourself tonight. Also remember the saying, where there is smoke there is fire. Well it is impossible for that to smoke like that for days without fire fueling the smoke. They go hand in hand! So stop fooling the people, we can see and smell.
    • FIRE (14/05/2018, 09:02) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      I agree, up to last night it had flames, not a large as initially, but burning nonetheless.
  • west (14/05/2018, 07:59) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    The goverment does not care about us
  • tola (14/05/2018, 08:56) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    trust me pass by tonight and tell me if it is down to a smoke. I passed last night and it was blazing
  • Chronic (14/05/2018, 08:56) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    I've been having trouble breathing now this makes it much worse as this smoke comes directly down to towers I've had to sleep elsewhere and that really inconveniences me and my family when will the government fix this Ronnie Skelton where are you. Your ministry is responsible for this so do something
  • Hmmm (14/05/2018, 10:52) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    I drove pass there on Saturday afternoon and there was active visible fire which I'm sure everyone else saw. My heart goes out to all affected. Gotta be ruff
  • wondering (14/05/2018, 17:49) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    i passed this morning and the fire is still burning lime crazy. Who do they think they are fooling with their lies? VG residents, EE residents. Sisk of this government n their lies. Off to UK cant they see the emporor has no clothes on??? Feeling embarrassed
  • West End Family (15/05/2018, 06:35) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    The smoke was getting so bad we have moved to stay with family in East End. I woke up this morning with a much clearer head and was not coughing for the first time since the smoke gotten bad. This is a very serious health hazard. Lots of people have been moving but lots don’t have any options.

    Please can the NEOC give daily updates about progress and air quality. Health officials have been taking surveys and machines were starting to move piles yesterday to try and break things up but we need to know what is going on.
  • HSE UK (15/05/2018, 10:33) Like (24) Dislike (4) Reply
    Why has the subject Ministry not engaged persons capaoble and competent to intsall air quality measuring devices at the site and other critical locations around he affected area!? I mean the l bel of ineptitude baffles me daily! Of the thirteen elected officials only 2 live in the affected areas - where are their voices in this large-scale environmental disaster? Where is he Minister if NRL? All business as usual for those not affected. Some law suits need to be brought against them and as individual for this mess.


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