Miriam Bulwar David-Hay Numerous residents complained of breathing difficulties when a fire broke out at a compost factory in the Haifa bay last week, and firefighters struggled to get near the blaze, reports Yediot Haifa. The Ministry of Environmental Protection is now investigating possible negligence at the factory. According to the report, the fire at the compost factory next to the city's waste purification plant sent plumes of white smoke into the air and left many people unable to breathe properly. Firefighters initially had trouble getting near the blaze because of its size. The report said the compost was in a 12-meter-high hill that, as it burned, sent poisonous and flammable gases such as ethane and methane raining down. Firefighters were forced to work around the clock throughout the week to extinguish smoldering piles of compost, and a significant drop in air quality was recorded in many Haifa neighborhoods in the days after the fire.