Smoking warehouse site causes Highland Park health concerns

Residents in Highland Park are concerned that their exposure to smoke continues.

- FOX 2 cameras captured spots that were still smoldering one week after a massive inferno destroyed a large recycling center in Highland Park.

But that isn't the biggest problem, residents exposed to the smoke for days are worried about the impact on their health. Black smoke continues to rise from the piles of debris that remain.

"We really got it bad here it was bad," said resident Linda Carroll. "This morning when I took the kids to school they said 'Oh mama we smell it' because we drove right past it."

And mothers who lives an apartment feet away from the warehouse in Highland Park say that's a problem.

"I sit right here and watch it," Carroll said. "You couldn't even see across here to the other side. The thickness was unreal." 

"You still see the smoke," said resident Shirleen Spencer. "So (there) is no change to me."

What started the fire is unknown. It started a week ago - burning a square block, causing evacuations, but not everyone was told to leave.

"I was in CVS literally, when they evacuated," Spencer said. "But they didn't to us."

The smoke over the city is the kind that you can taste and makes you want to get out of the area - which can be a problem if you have nowhere to go.

"I didn't have anybody where we could have gone to stay," Carroll said. "We had to stick it out here."

Flames were still dancing among the rubble and the toxic smoke continues to rise. That only raises concerns for the long term health effects of breathing this air in.

"When I was outside getting my children out of the car,  my nose started running," Carroll said. "I think it was from the smoke. I didn't feel anything before."

"I was sick, throwing up, gagging, it was terrible," Spencer said.

In the meantime life goes on, the breathing problems come and go and vary widely with the wind and weather. 

But those living this close can't help but wonder if something more should have and can still be done

"If we inhaled something that we should have not inhaled, down the road who's to say if something could happen to us," Carroll said.


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