Parents worry about their kids health near Buckingham mulch fire

Posted at 6:52 PM, Mar 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-23 06:48:35-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- For 3 days, smoke has been billowing from the fire that first sparked at the corner of Tice Street and Staley Road.  And as firefighters continue to battle the large mulch fire, parents are taking action out of fear for their children's health at nearby schools.

On Wednesday, dozens of parents and grandparents arrived early at Oak Hammock Middle and Manatee Elementary to pick up students. 

"There was no hesitation about picking him up today," said grandparent Bobby Rosine.

Students were calling family members complaining of headaches and sore throats. "In my dance class there were like 13 kids and everyone was gone," said Jamiera Journey.

The Lee County School District said teachers are limiting outdoor activities and keeping kids indoors for P.E.

But an Oak Hammock Middle School teacher emailed Fox 4 about conditions inside the school, saying "the third floor is the worst. They have had to relocate many classrooms due to how bad the smoke is in the building."

District officials first issued a statement Tuesday afternoon.

"We have an air quality team at the schools monitoring the air quality to ensure our students safety and comfort."

However, Wednesday afternoon parents and grandparents said they aren't so sure enough is being done.  "The odor of fire is evident inside the school and the smoke is really strong," said Rosine.

As of late Wednesday, the Lee County School District said school is still scheduled for Thursday. 

Fox 4 will continue to monitor the situation and update you with any changes.