CORNWALL – What were piles of trash in the Cornwall dump, quickly turned into fuel for a raging inferno.
At least 17 firefighters and three fire trucks were on the scene of the Cornwall landfill at 2590 Cornwall Centre Road shortly before 5 p.m. Saturday afternoon.
Fire hoses had to be strung up a hill and around the perimeter of the landfill pit in the southeast corner of the property in order to get to the flames, which were leaping several meters in the air.
The thick smoke from the trash fire started drifting south across Vincent Massey Drive, forcing police to shut down the section of highway between Power Dam Drive and Cornwall Centre Road. The section reopened just before 8 p.m.
People could smell the smoke as far away as the Riverdale section of Cornwall, raising some concerns about what may be in the air.
However, emergency officials did not issue any air quality advisories.
Once the fire was knocked down, an excavator was brought in to dig up the garbage while firefighters soaked it with water to snuff out the flames.
Cornwall Division Manager of Environmental Services, Morris McCormick, was on the scene monitoring the situation for most of the afternoon.
The cause is not known. The landfill site was not open to the public at the time of the fire.
There were no apparent injuries – paramedics were on scene as a precaution.
Firefighters were still on the scene as of 9 p.m. checking for hot spots in the piles of garbage.