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Residents Concerned About Possibility Of Fire At Vance County Landfill

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HENDERSON, N.C. — A Vance County landfill is spreading more than foul odors to its neighbors. Fires are creating a thick cloud of smoke that surrounded several homes. Some homeowners fear another fire could be fatal.

On Monday, the wind whipped up a cloud of smoke.

"It was thick enough that you could cut it with a knife or scissors if you had to," resident Connie Daniel said.

Daniel lives near the source of the smoke, a mulch pile at the county's sanitary landfill. Heat can build up inside dry piles of freshly chipped yard waste and suddenly burst into flames.

"That Monday, it was so engulfed in smoke that the community itself should have been evacuated," resident Sylvia Allyn said.

Fire crews smothered the fire after an hour and a half. Sylvia Allen is concerned her neighbors, many of whom already have breathing problems, may not survive any more of these kind of incidents.

"I've had chronic asthma since I was small, but in the last four years since I've been up here, it's tripled and gotten a whole lot worse," resident Gloria Russell said.

The residents have complained to county officials and state solid waste management. Officials said the piles will be moved as soon as a new site further from homeowners is ready. The old site will then be shut down.

Vance County officials will meet Monday with officials with the State Solid Waste Management to discuss a timeline for moving the mulch pile and permanently shutting down the site.


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