MIAMI (CBS5) -
The town of Miami closed their windows and stayed inside Tuesday, thanks to a prescribed burn by the mine owned by Freeport McMoRan. Residents said a little warning would've been nice.
"That's my inhaler that I haven't used in seven and a half months. Now I'm using it," said Carol Propeck, who lives very close to the mine in Miami. Around 9 a.m. Tuesday, she and her husband, David Propeck, noticed smoke right outside their doorstep.
"It was awful. I've never smelled anything that bad," Carol Propeck said.
"It smelled like old wood plus green weeds, and then there was a tint of - I don't know how to put this nicely, but a tint of sewage," David Propeck said.
But the Propecks said the smell is the least of their worries.
"I can't breathe. I'm coughing. My throat's sore," Carol Propeck said.
Freeport McMoRan said they were doing a controlled vegetatiaon burn Tuesday, but stopped when they saw the winds were carrying the smoke to the nearby communities. Reports indicate that the area they burned included a waste pond, but this hasn't been confirmed.
"Around lunchtime we made the decision to pull students in from outside. We have a recess room just for that," said Curtis Patching, the principal of nearby Lee Kornegay Intermediate School. He said one student had to go home because her asthma was acting up.
The Propecks said they are glad to see the smoke dissipating, but if Carol Propeck's symptoms don't get better tomorrow, they will have to go to the doctor.
"We will have to drive down to the Valley and get her some help," David Propeck said.
The ADEQ said no one has filed any complaints with them so far, but they say the project is finished, so there shouldn't be any more burns in the near future.
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