Landfill fire burning for more than a month leaving families sick

A family said no one is doing anything to put out a landfill fire that has burned near their home for more than a month.

SOUTH FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — A family said no one is doing anything to put out a landfill fire that has burned near their home for more than a month.

NewsChopper 2 first flew over the fire on Bishop Road in South Fulton County when it first started. Several weeks later, people who live nearby told Channel 2's Nefertiti Jaquez the smoke is making them sick.

Helen Goddard told Jaquez she's fed up.

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The 85-year-old said she's angry because she's already battling leukemia, and now the landfill that backs up to her property is making her even more sick.

"I cannot even walk outside without putting a mask on," Goddard said.

A family called Jaquez saying they're worried about their health because the air quality has deteriorated ever since NewsChopper 2 captured the scene.

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Firefighters were called out to a woods fire at the landfill on the 7600 block of Bishop Road Sept. 20.

Officials warned residents in a Facebook post that it was expected to burn for days.

But several residents, including Deborah and Larry Stephens said it's been more than a month since the fire started.

"We have a little 4-year-old grandchild that would love to live outside if he could, but unfortunately we have to keep him indoors," Deborah Stephens said.

They said the moment the wind picks up, the smell of burning debris makes it difficult for them to breathe.

"You call EPA, they say call code enforcement. Code enforcement has done nothing," Goddard said.

Thursday, Jaquez spent the day reaching out to city, county and state officials to see if there are violations and if the owner of B+B construction processing could be held responsible.

After 14 emails and seven phone calls, Naeema Gilyard, who's the councilperson over the district, confirmed the Georgia Environmental Protection Division has launched an investigation.

Residents said they want the landfill shut down.

"How would it feel if you couldn't go to church without people smelling you. Have to wash everything that I own," Goddard said.

Jaquez reached out to the owner of the landfill. He declined to comment.