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March 17, 2014
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Battling the blaze - Fire at Riverton landfill might be work of arsonists
André Williams, STAR Writer


Firemen fight a blaze at the Riverton City landfill yesterday. - Rudolph Brown

Up to late last night, firemen were still fighting to contain a blaze at the Riverton City landfill.

The fire, believed to be the work of arsonists, has so far forced the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) and the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Managment (ODPEM) to activate their emergency systems.

Thick clouds of black smoke covered the Corporate Area skies throughout yesterday, while several agencies worked to determine a cause and an end to the fire.

Corporate Area residents, some of whom called our offices, were complaining that they were affected by the incident.

A female caller told THE STAR, "I have been trying to cope with the smoke, but it was too much so I had to relocate for a while."

Another said, "Dem need to investigate what is causing the frequent fires because this is not healthy. Why is it that every four months or so there is a fire over there? Some they put out quickly and some they can't contain."

ODPEM Director General, Richard Thompson, said the fire was contained to a tyre cell on the landfill and that the fire appears to have been started by arsonists and the situation is being treated as a national disaster.

Additionally, the Jamaica Fire Brigade dispatched seven water engines with aerial ladders, foam and tractors that are compacting dirt, while on-the-ground personnel continue to monitor the situation.

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