Residents who live near a warehouse in Enterprise, Chaguanas which was gutted by fire on Monday are expected to be moved to shelters because of the smoke still emanating from the building.
On Wednesday residents said they were badly affected by the smoke coming from the smouldering building and say they may have no choice but to leave until the situation subsides.
The fire started around 6 pm on Monday at warehouses that contained supplies for Alisha Marketing and Sumeds Limited Poultry Equipment and Supplies at Citrus Drive.
Fire appliances from Chaguanas, Couva, Savonetta and Tunapuna battled the blaze well into Tuesday and were on the scene on Wednesday still dousing the gutted material with water.
Chaguanas East MP Vandana Mohit said she has made calls to the Chaguanas Borough Corporation and other authorities in a bid to set up emergency shelters for up to 500 residents who are affected and cannot bear to inhale the smoke.
Mohit said she had also spoken with the Minister of National Security to get the Fire Services to send more resources to the scene. Mohit said she was extremely concerned since no one is able to say if the smoke was carcinogenic and what would be its long term effects on residents.
Residents at Dass Trace Extension said they have had enough. Isaac Baksh, 82, said he had to wear his mask inside his home and was unable to breathe properly on Monday and Tuesday nights. Asha Basksh, 40, said she suffered from asthma and sinus problems. Baksh said she had to use her inhaler twice on Tuesday and take medication for her other ailments.
She said,“ That place contained chemicals. I don’t think the authorities are doing anything about it. I don’t know if they even aware.” Baksh said since the blaze started many had to stay indoors and cope with the smoke.
Another resident Sita Rodiguez, 60, said she has a barrage of medical problems which include seizures, cardiac and breathing difficulties. Rodriguez said she cannot bring her two grandchildren to her home since they could not handle the smoke. She said children in the community are at a disadvantage since many cannot cope with the smoke while doing online classes.
Khemraj Ayoob, 32, a diabetic said he had to stay at the home of relatives and his 90-year-old mother was finding it hard to cope with the smoke,” I cant sleep.”
Businessman Harry Ramgoolie, opened the doors to his business place on Wednesday. Ramgoolie, who sells stationery, said he had no customers since the blaze took place and was finding it unbearable to remain at his business.
He said, “My eyes and nostrils are burning, my throat is irritated and it’s kind of difficult to breathe.”
Late yesterday MP Mohit said the Enterprise Seven Day Adventist Church located at Railway Road, in the district is available as a shelter for residents who wish to utilise the facility.