Clouds of smoke covered Philipsburg

Great Bay — Close to 24 hours after the initial fire which has continued to burn out of control on Pond Island, there are more questions than answers with regards to the final solution to a problem that has been going on for a number of years.

Despite the frantic efforts by the fire fighters during the early stages of the fire, it continued to burn throughout the night, sending it’s toxic fumes billowing into the air which has been a major cause of discomfort in certain areas as far as Simpson Bay.

At 09:00am this morning, the fire which started close to the entrance of the Irma debris dump facility, has reached across to the furthest point, close to the edge of the Great Salt Pond. At that stage, there was almost zero visibility in close proximity of the affected area and no fire truck was in sight.

Ironically most businesses situated along the Pond Fill remained open, however the few persons that wanted to pay their utility bills at the temporary office at GEBE’s Headquarters in Philipsburg were re-directed to Simpson Bay. One member of the Sheriff Security was seen wearing a disposable nose mask outside GEBE.

In an attempt to prevent persons from getting close to the affected area, a barricade was positioned at the entrance of Pond Island and that was manned by uniformed ranks of the Police Department.

On a second visit, just before 06:00pm this afternoon, the entire area behind the Little League Stadium was blanketed with thick white smoke which made it harder to ascertain the extent of the damages.

But for the second straight night, residents who dwell directly under the path of the smoke will have to deal with the harsh reality of breathing in and out normally and hope that whatever is inhaled does not have a short or long term effect on their health.

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Source: StMaartenNews