Surface Fire Erupts at Bridgeton Landfill

Garbage landfill located adjacent to nuclear waste site.

Kevin Killeen
November 02, 2018 - 6:39 pm

Karen Nickel (West Lake Landfill Facebook page)

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BRIDGETON, Mo. (KMOX) - (UPDATED 7 p.m.) Landfill owner Republic Services and the Pattonville Fire Department have confirmed that the Bridgeton Landfill fire has been extinguished.

Water, foam, and dirt were dumped on top of the surface fire in the southwest corner of the garbage landfill, officials say, putting the fire out.

Asst. Fire Chief Matt LaVanchy at the scene tells KMOX there's no concern of any radiation threat to the area. He explains that the fire was more than 1,000 feet from the West Lake Landfill, where the nuclear waste is buried.

Previous reporting:

Firefighters are battling a surface fire that erupted late Friday afternoon at a garbage landfill, infamous for its proximity to a nuclear waste site.

Flames and gas are shooting from a well at the Bridgeton Landfill, located hundreds of feet from an adjacent nuclear waste site, the West Lake Landfill.

Pattonville Assistant Fire Chief Matt LaVanchy says at first, it was believed the fire was merely related to a sump pump at the surface, but when firefighters arrived on the scene they discovered the underground garbage fire has reached the surface.

"It's a surface fire," LaVanchy told KMOX from the scene by phone, "It's in a well -- gas and everything."

There's no indication the fire threatens to reach the nuclear material, some distance away.

West Lake Landfill Facebook page

Video posted on social media shows a 10-foot-tall flame with a tower of black smoke drifting from the site.

Just Moms activist Dawn Chapman is videotaping the fire from the fence line, saying she has observed efforts to extinguish the fire with foam and water have failed.

Chapman says calls have gone out for a load of dirt to dump on the fire.