Moody landfill fire causing residents to evacuate, separate their families

Families evacuated due to landfill fire
Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 10:32 PM CST
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MOODY, Ala. (WBRC) - The smoke and fumes from the Moody landfill fire is causing some families to evacuate. The fire has been burning since November and many are concerned about the long term health impacts of breathing in this smoke, causing some to evacuate or separate their family.

“It’s completely frustrating,” Moody Resident Kristan Hodges said. “It’s heart breaking.”

Kristan Hodges lives about four miles away from the Moody landfill fire, and after nearly two months of smoke in the air, she can’t let her kids inhale it any longer.

“We don’t have a clue what they’re breathing in, they’re having sinus issues,” she said. “They are only 2 and 4 years old and I don’t know how this going to affect them in the future.”

Hodges said she’s tried everything to stop the smell and fumes from coming into her home.

“We have four large air purifiers in our house,” Hodges said. “We have our front door tapped with painters tape.”

She said it was heartbreaking, but she and her husband decided it was time to get their children out of the smoke.

“I called my mother in law and asked her if they could come stay with them in Mississippi for a little bit, and so they went for a little bit,” Hodges said. “I don’t like being away from my children.”

For Trussville resident Breanne Cook, her whole family had to evacuate because of health concerns.

“You wake up at 4 a.m. in the middle of the night and you smell burning rubber,” Cook said. “There was even an [asthma] episode where I had to call the paramedics because of it.”

Both her daughters have asthma and Cook said she also struggles with health concerns, so they all went to the doctor when they started having symptoms.

“All three of us have had nosebleeds, the chronic throat irritation, the sore throats, the coughing,” Cook said. “My doctor advised us we need to relocate. She helped me get paperwork for the school system, so we could keep the kids enrolled, but get them away from the smoke at the same time.”

Now staying in an Airbnb in Bibb County, Cook said they’re starting to feel better.

“The difference is night and day with us being away from it,” Cook said. “I am staying here until that fire is put out.”

Many residents are telling WBRC they want to see officials showing urgency in putting the fire out.

“I feel sorry for people that don’t have the option we have,” Hodges said. “It makes me angry, because I’m trying to put their safety first and I wish those in office would do the same.”

WBRC has been communicating, on Jan. 17, with the Governor’s office about this landfill fire. WBRC reached out on Jan. 16 as well. The governor’s office told WBRC that they don’t believe they’ve received a formal request on this matter, but they were going to double check and get back to us. We’re still waiting to hear back.

The governor’s office also said that they are working on a response to the overall issue of the landfill fire.

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