Inferno at Cornwall landfill

Flames shoot up from piles of trash in the Cornwall landfill on April 18, 2015. The fire kept firefighters busy for over four hours. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)

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.

Flames dart between piles of garbage in the Cornwall landfill April 18, 2015. It's not known what started the fire which kept firefighters on scene for several hours and taxed their resources. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)
Flames dart between piles of garbage in the Cornwall landfill April 18, 2015. It’s not known what started the fire which kept firefighters on scene for several hours and taxed their resources. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)

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.

A Cornwall firefighter pours water on some overturned trash while an excavator (not shown) works to overturn the garbage to put out the fire. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)
A Cornwall firefighter pours water on some overturned trash while an excavator (not shown) works to overturn the garbage to put out the fire. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)

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.

Flames race up the side of the Cornwall landfill pit April 18, 2015. The fire kept firefighters busy for over four hours. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)
Flames race up the side of the Cornwall landfill pit April 18, 2015. The fire kept firefighters busy for over four hours. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)

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