Fire out at Viva Recycling in Anderson Co., roads to reopen

News

ANDERSON COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – A large tire fire in Anderson County is now out and roads are expected to reopen at 5 p.m. Friday.

Anderson County fire crews responded to the fire at about 7:30 p.m. Thursday to Viva Recycling, located at 3741 Abbeville Highway.

On Thursday night, we reported that Abbeville Highway had been shutdown from Airline Road to Acker Road.

On Friday morning, Anderson County officials asked people to stay away from the area. They said area residents had been asked to limit outdoor activities and to keep their windows closed.

Anderson County Fire Commander Ryan Herring with Home Park Station 3 said the fire is about 95 percent contained and said currently there is a tractor making the fire flare up.

The tire yard has reportedly been closed for a couple of years and DHEC officials are on-scene, as well as Anderson County Environmental personnel.

The Anderson County Administrator Rusty Burns said they believe an electrical spark from a power line started the fire, but crews will continue to investigate. Herring said the fire started in the back end of the property.

More than 100 firefighters from eight different fire departments, county personnel and emergency crews responded to the fire.

Burns said fires are beginning to be a regular occurrence at the location. The last fire happened back in January.

Now residents in this area want something to be done immediately.

“It’s scary, because it’s right here. This one is actually closer than the first one was,” said Tiffany Cook, Home Park resident.

Cook and others have called this area a nightmare.

“I was watching it to make sure it didn’t come our way, because I was preparing to leave…I wasn’t going to go through this again,” said Cook.

7News has been investigating this tire recycling company since DHEC shut it down in 2016. The county has been trying to gain control of the property for about two years, but the property is still owned by Viva LLC.

“The only thing holding us up right now is the fact that it’s still owned by VIVA LLC,” Burns said.

Burns said those folks are no where to be found. Cook believes things will only get worse if something isn’t done.

“Now the homeless and the drug users and kids all go back there and play. It’s just like every time I see someone coming from that area, I’m looking for a fire truck now,” Cook said.

Burns said DHEC has already given the County roughly $40,000 to conduct a clean-up study. That study showed it could cost up to a $1.5 million to clean up the property, according to Burns.

“DHEC has pledged to assist us with the funds necessary to clean this up,” Burns said.

They’re hoping the state environmental agency will pick up the entire cost, but Burns said nothing can move forward until the property is in their hands.

“So we have requested they give us the property, they have not responded to that request. So we’re going to be taking action to secure the property, clean the property, and make sure nothing ever goes here again,” Burns added.

“I’m hoping they can clean it out and keep people out there. That’s just too close to people’s homes. We work hard for what we have, and to have it just burn up….it’s ridiculous,” Cook exclaimed.

Anderson County leaders said they are still trying to get in contact with Viva Recycling, LLC. They said they’re also trying to reach the property owner of the site, as well.

The fire is now out, and the county hopes to resolve the issue within seven or eight months, Burns said.

No injuries have been reported.

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