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ST. CROIX — A third fire in three weeks at the St. Croix Anguilla Landfill once again sent thick, black smoke billowing and affecting the west side of the island on Saturday. The Waste Management Authority (W.M.A.), through VI Alert, said the fire ignited between 5:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m., and that the black smoke was a result of the burning of waste oil.
According to reports, the fire occurred at the landfill’s chemical station. A video obtained by The Consortium shows the violent fire burning in an area that appears to contain drums, some including oil, causing thick, black smoke to billow and rush west.
The alert said the Virgin Islands Fire Service, W.M.A. contractors, and VITEMA were on scene, and that the Fire Service was working to contain the blaze.
W.M.A. recommended that residents with respiratory ailments or other existing conditions that may have been triggered as a result of smoke inhalation, shelter in place to minimize exposure or relocate, if necessary. W.M.A. said the Juan F. Luis Hospital and the V.I. Department of Health’s emergency medical technicians were ready to respond and provide immediate assistance to impacted individuals.
Last Sunday, a large fire ignited at the landfill, destroying heavy equipment while sending large, black plumes of smoke racing west. The fire was so great that local first responders held a press briefing to give updates on its status and actions of containment that were being taken at the time.
Two weeks ago, a fire ignited in the transfer station, causing loud explosions while compromising the building and equipment.
While first responders have told The Consortium that they suspected arson, during the press briefing, officials refused to say whether they believed the fires could have been intentionally set.
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