Residents concerned with health, safety after junkyard fire in Holly Hill

ORANGEBURG COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - There are health and safety concerns in the town of Holly Hill after a massive fire at a junkyard.

Friday's fire at Don's Crushing Cars was at least the tenth fire there in the last eight years, according to Teddy Wolfe, the director of the Orangeburg County Fire District.

Smoke was still rising from the junk pile Tuesday at Don's Crushing Cars, four days after the big fire.

The roaring fire sent flames shooting 100 feet into the air and needed crews from as many as 30 departments to fight it.

Wolfe says since 2010 there have been at least ten fires at Don's Crushing Cars.

That includes the one in 2011 that caused about $6 million worth of damage and cost taxpayers about $36,000 for foam concentrate to fight the fire.

"They have to be more careful what they're doing there," said Rev. Leroy Haskell.

Haskell has lived in Holly Hill for 15 years, and is concerned about the fires.

"I'm concerned not for me per se, because I'm on my way out, but the young people coming along 10 to 15 years from now," Haskell said.

He's not the only one.

"When they're burning, what's going in the air? What are the pollutants? What's going into the air?" Peggy Scott said.

The fire district also wants to know.

On Tuesday afternoon, a safety officer was on site taking readings to monitor possible toxins or pollutants.

The fire district says the six other reported fires at Don's Crushing Cars were not major ones.

They happened between 2010 and 2017.

Those fires were classified as outside, rubbish, or special and were contained and handled by people working at the junkyard.

The number of fires still has some folks worried.

"I'm concerned about an explosion because I sell junk. And in case if I'm there, an explosion can cause all of us to be killed and I'm really concerned about everyone's safety," Silas Sanders said.

The cause of Friday's fire is unknown.

Calls to management at Don's Crushing Cars were not returned.

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