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Some Doral residents with pre-existing condition concerned about air quality due to waste plant fire

Waste plant conitnues to burn in Doral
Waste plant conitnues to burn in Doral 00:22

MIAMI - A police cruiser's light and a barricade are now the only visible reminder of what happened in the city of Doral eight days ago, a massive fire at the waste to energy plant with relentless flames and billows of ash and dark soot that blanketed the surrounding area.

While smoke levels have decreased, people like Maria Britto, who has a pre-existing respiratory condition, say their health is worse.

"I'm asthmatic, I have asthma," she said.

Britto does not hesitate to wear a mask to get out of her house and share what life has been like in the last few days. she is one of those people that local authorities have been advising to 'stay indoors'.

"My chest is burning, I actually have an eczema flare up right now all over my face and they don't give us any answers about anything," she said, referring to city and county authorities.

Dr. Dadilia Garces believes anyone in the Doral area with a pre-existing respiratory condition has the right to be concerned in spite of officials saying there are no toxic chemicals in the air.

"The size of the particles that are there at this moment, they are very tiny and they are capable to get into their respiratory and circulatory system. That means people with preexistent conditions are more susceptible to have attacks or have complications in their systems," said Garces.

"In the case of my son, he started coughing, I could not expose him to this, much less take him out (to the park)," said Janna Britto whose three-year-old son Jean Franco Britto has asthma.

For almost a week, both have been living away from their own home as a precautionary measure. Britto said she fears her son may get sick from the smoke. She wants answers from local officials as far as when will it be safe to get out of the house and how much longer will this continue.

Friday, county and Doral officials reiterated what they have been saying for a few days, "(the) general recommendation is stay indoors, especially if you have any other respiratory illnesses or other medical conditions."

Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency, which has been at the sight since last Monday, recently released a statement saying: "We recommend that residents experiencing smoky conditions remain indoors particularly during the evening and at night; winds slow down and smoke remains lower on the ground. Anyone with preexisting respiratory and cardiac conditions should take extra precautions, such as wearing a mask if you need to be outdoors."

Two buildings continue to burn at the plant. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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