Investigators are looking into what started a fire that broke out overnight at a local dump.
The 9-1-1 call came in just before 2 a.m. on Friday from a neighbor.
Chief Scott Brackett says by the time they got to the Hiram Hollow Transfer Station on Washburn Road in Wilton, the entire building was engulfed in flames.
Some 75 volunteer firefighters were called in.
“It’s a transfer station and people bring their household garbage here. Anything they want to throw away they bring it here they dump it and they pay a fee,” Chief Brackett said. “They have an excavator in there that picks it up and loads it into the trailers and from there they bring it to a landfill.”
That excavator was destroyed in this fire, along with at least three other pieces of machinery.
Brackett says it’s the second excavator to burn up here in as many months.
“We were here two months ago when the excavator caught fire inside the structure. It also started a pile on fire. At that time, there were people here and they were able to get the flames knocked down quickly. No one was here tonight, so the fire had quite the head start. The last time somebody was here was I think 5:30 p.m. yesterday afternoon.”
Because the building is made of steel and concrete, a lot of the smoke and fire was trapped inside.
It didn’t help that it was literally filled with trash, adding fuel to the fire.
Brackett says the only way to put the fire out was to go in with a front loader to remove all of the garbage from the building bucket by bucket and hose each load down.
The mountain of junk growing, and growing, and growing.
“It’s tough and it’s a long process and requires a lot of water. We do not have hydrants here so we have numerous tankers from agencies here.”
Because people bring all sorts of trash here couches, mattresses, tires, all of this has been burning and billowing into the air. The DEC says they will be doing air quality control monitoring in the area as well as taking samples from nearby ponds and water wells.
The building has been condemned and must be taken down as soon as possible.