• Officials: Fire in tunnel at Chester Co. landfill could have been burning for 2 years

    By: Alexa Ashwell

    Updated:

    CHESTER COUNTY, S.C. - The fire at a Chester County landfill may have been burning for up to two years, officials said Thursday.

    Firefighters said they just discovered a tunnel underneath the toxic material that's been burning for a long time.

    View from Chopper 9: Fire burns at Chester County landfill

    Authorities have set up a command post where firefighters are constantly working to get the fire under control. Early Friday morning they told Channel 9 that they thought they now had it put out and would be checking throughout the day to ensure it doesn't flare back up.

    Firefighters have been battling the fire at the landfill for six days as smoke continues to billow into the air, and have discovered a tunnel in the landfill.

    They told Channel 9’s partners at The Herald that they believe the fire started in the tunnel and theorized it started via spontaneous combustion, but haven't ruled out other possibilities.

    STORY: Officials worried landfill fire could be releasing toxic asbestos

    Officials are also trying to figure out how long the fire has been burning, saying it’s possible it could have been raging in the tunnel from "two weeks or two years."

    The concern Friday is the wind shifting the fire and its fumes closer to area homes. The EPA is monitoring the air quality and so far they said they haven't detected any hazardous materials.

    But residents are still concerned.

    ”The smoke is going into the air and it’s no telling what it’s going to cause to happen to us," said Holly Parkins.

    There are a lot of resources being used to try to get the situation under control and officials said they have used more than 200,000 gallons of water to battle the fire.

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