HazMat, EPA Monitoring Salvage Fire

Salvage Fire

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A fire that broke out at a Trumbull County junkyard two days ago is still burning.

HazMat crews and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency are taking over the scene for now to get the fire under control and assist with air monitoring.

Monitors are set up around the Countrywide Salvage Yard in Vernon Township and air quality was being checked all day Monday. Trumbull County HazMat Chief Jason DeLuca said all readings were normal Monday, but they did have some concern early on.

“Because of the unknown materials that are involved, looking at the smoke, we were getting some readings we were concerned with,” said DeLuca.

The initial fire started shortly before 10 a.m. Saturday. Crews worked all day to stamp out the flames, only to have the fire rekindle on Sunday. The cause is still unknown.

Fire officials noted the first call came in as a burning complaint and said the junkyard has been investigated in the past for illegal dumping. Investigators are concerned there could be hazardous materials and chemicals at the site.

“Apparently, it’s all construction material right now,” said DeLuca. “I don’t know what else is in there until we get it all pulled apart and figured out.”

Vernon Township Trustee John Wolford said they’ve had problems with the junkyard since 1990, even though the facility has had many owners.

“It’s been closed down, and it seems like every time that it gets closed down that somebody comes along after two or three months, it starts back up. People start dumping illegally again,” said Wolford.

HazMat crews expect to have the fire extinguished within the next several days adding that, in some cases, similar fires have lingered for months.

It is unclear if the owner of the salvage yard will be charged.

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