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Bubble bath' douses Decatur landfill fire

By By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
May 2, 2001
DECATUR Officials here are investigating a landfill fire that burned for more than four hours Wednesday afternoon.
An employee at the Landfill Road site off Turkey Creek Road noticed a small, isolated fire and placed an emergency call about 1 p.m., said Gary Galloway of the Newton County Emergency Management Agency. He said the fire "progressed to a larger fire quickly."
The Newton Volunteer Fire Department responded, and requested immediate back-up from the Conehatta and Decatur volunteer fire departments.
Galloway said a landfill employee used a bulldozer to stir the debris so firefighters could saturate it.
Dishwashing liquid lowers the water's surface tension and makes it penetrate better, which basically "makes the water wetter," Galloway said.
Similar to the foamy spray in fire extinguishers, the mixture firefighters used on the landfill fire was much cheaper, he said. Two cases of Ivory cost the county $43.
Galloway said there were no damages, and no pollutants were released into the air.
Galloway said calling DEQ is standard procedure, adding that a DEQ inspector will probably visit the site within the next couple of days.
Officials suspect the cause of the fire was auto combustion. Galloway said arson is not suspected.
Officials remained at the scene until about 4:30 p.m. Galloway said he planned to check the site every couple of hours throughout the night Wednesday and had firefighters on stand-by in case the fire re-ignited.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3275, or e-mail her at sblackmon@themeridianstar.com.