There is a great concern that I have had for many years as I live directly next door to the Sol (previously Esso) fuel storage facility. Unfortunately, one year after we moved into our house on South Church Street, the company was given permission to construct their storage tanks there despite a petition that we, as a neighborhood, had sent in to the government of that time. However, the bill was vetoed by Gov. Foot of Jamaica of whose governance we were then under.
Over the years my husband (now deceased) and I sent complaints to every government because there have been no security guards on duty at night at any of the facilities, which was of great concern to us. There have been a few times that moderate fires have started during the day at the Sol (Esso) property and thank goodness they were controlled.
We just had a close call for a real disaster on South Church Street where many people had to vacate their homes. Many residents experienced this inconvenience and were alerted to the potential of what could happen due to a fire at any of the fuel storage facilities in this area. We, as a community, are very grateful to everyone who took part in containing and combating the recent fire, but, as some individuals have already mentioned in the Compass, the communication to the neighboring residents and general public was something to be desired.
As I see it, it has become time again for us all to send another petition to our government, as these facilities sit in our central business and tourism district and could cause an unimaginable catastrophe if another fire were to occur and is not able to be contained. I would be more than willing to sign a petition should someone decide to start one. I thank God for preventing the major disaster that could have happened, and I want to thank the many people who were praying for the protection of all the residents of our area.