Fire starts at landfill

Published 2:23 am Thursday, July 5, 2018

A fire that was reported Monday evening at the Prince Edward County landfill is being investigated by Prince Edward County, officials said Tuesday.

Prince Edward County Administrator Wade Bartlett confirmed the fire, to which he said Prospect Volunteer Fire Department, Hampden-Sydney Volunteer Fire Department and Farmville Fire Department responded.

2nd Lieutenant Travis Finch said the fire was reported at 7:20 p.m. at the landfill, located at 130 Trashmore Road.

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Dan Pempel, chief of the Randolph District Volunteer Fire Department who was present at the fire, said a caller described the incident to Prospect Volunteer Fire Department as three explosions and saw black smoke from the landfill site.

Finch said the fire took place in what he described as a pile in the landfill itself. He said the fire was contained at the landfill property.

Bartlett and Finch said firefighters extinguished the fire using water and foam. Finch said they also used a bulldozer from the landfill site to tear up the ground and allow the departments to spray water at the fire.

The fire was under control between 9-10 p.m., Finch and Bartlett said.

Pempel said the fire was knocked down by 9:01 p.m. and extinguished at 10:18 p.m.

Pempel said the case was turned over to Prince Edward County.

Bartlett said county officials, including landfill employees and the Public Works Director Ron VanEps, visited the landfill early Tuesday morning. He said they found a few hot spots at the facility and they were quickly put out.

Bartlett said landfill fires are not unusual events and could be caused by a number of factors, including people disposing hot items such as charcoal packed into receptacles that could smolder, disposal of household chemicals that could potentially mix and combust when contained at the landfill site.

Bartlett said there was no damage to structures at the landfill and the fire did not leave the working face of the landfill.

“The volunteer fire departments responded in a quick and efficient manner,” Bartlett said. He added that the landfill is back to normal operations.

The cause of the fire is unknown.