independent

Tuesday 20 August 2019

Fire fury

Illegal dump blaze health hazard

Poisonous smoke billowing from the fire at the illegal dump site where mountains of tyres and other waste have been dumped
Poisonous smoke billowing from the fire at the illegal dump site where mountains of tyres and other waste have been dumped
Mountains of tyres and other waste have been dumped.

Maria Pepper

A call has been made for the local authority to clamp down on an illegal dump containing tyres, cables and used oil, which was set alight, sending a plume of poisonous black smoke billowing for miles and causing a public health hazard.

Two fire service crews from Enniscorthy and Wexford were summoned to deal with the toxic blaze on the site of an old Roadstone quarry near GAA and rugby playing pitches at Páirc Charman early last Friday afternoon.

Wexford hurling legend Larry O'Gorman who was in the new Faythe Harriers clubhouse under construction at the time, said he never saw anything like it and he described how the sound of loud explosions could be heard as the burning mountain of mattresses, car batteries, tyres, cables, oil cans and glass bottles sent impenetrable thick smoke and flames into the sky.

'To be honest, I never witnessed anything like it. When I saw it first, from a distance, it looked like a small house fire but as I got closer I could see how bad it was.'

'The smoke was completely black. I was heading towards the location of the fire to see what was happening and I met a man who was out walking with his dog. He told me: "don't go near there, it's a hazard". I retreated when I heard an explosive noise and rang the gardai and the County Council.'

As the fire grew bigger and bigger, the Council's environment department sent in drones for a closer examination of the extent of the blaze. Fire crews worked to bring it under control, damping down the flames and using hooks to pull the debris apart.

'It was so bad that even people in Castlebridge could see it and the smoke blew over as far as the Mazda garage in Ardcavan,' said Larry, adding that illegal dumping has been going on at the private site for about eighteen months.'It looks like a planned dump site,' he said.

'This has to stop,' commented Labour councillor George Lawlor who has previously highlighted the problem of the illegal dump.

'It's having a detrimental effect on the sports pitches in Páirc Charman. There was smoke billowing all over the place. I would urge the Council to take whatever action is necessary to ensure that this illegal dumping ceases immediately,' he said.

Wexford People

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