A group of people close to the Rio wood recycling plant that suffered a five-week fire are to sue both the company and the local council.
The residents believe that the fire in a wood storage facility left them suffering from various illnesses and fatigue.
They say that they were given no health and safety warnings when their homes were engulfed by the fire.
Over 40,000 tonnes of wood waste was destroyed in the fire, which took five weeks to burn out as firefighters would not spray water on it for fear of contaminating water supplies.
The solicitor representing the residents, Melanie Burden told the Thurrock Gazette: “The situation is totally unacceptable.
“We are helping a number of people who have suffered terribly after inhaling smoke from the fire and the council have shown little concern for public health.
“The smoke from the fire posed a significant health risk – chipboard and MDF were left to burn and the resulting smoke is causing residents to fall ill.”