Viva Recycling Anderson fire

A tire fire broke out on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019 at a former Viva Recycling facility in Anderson County. Provided

More than two dozen fire departments responded to a fire Saturday afternoon that broke out at a former Anderson County recycling facility that had been home to mountains of mosquito-infested tires.

Units were called at 2 p.m. to a report of a fire at the site, located on Abbeville Highway near S.C. Highway 141, according to the Anderson County Fire Department. 

In all, 27 fire departments had responded to the scene as of early Saturday night, according to the Fire Department. Hazardous materials teams were also at the scene. 

No injuries had been reported or evacuations ordered, according to the Fire Department. 

Ken Swilling, who lives by the facility, told The Post and Courier there was "bad smoke" in the area and that it burned to breathe. 

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control was aware of the situation at the former Viva Recycling facility, said Tommy Crosby, a spokesman for the agency. 

DHEC was working with local officials and was ready to provide any assistance necessary if requested, Crosby stated. 

The site had posed problems in the past and been a subject of major concerns among neighboring residents, who said it was home to mosquito swarms and meth users.

Both it and a sister facility in Moncks Corner were featured in The Post and Courier's "Tire Failure" investigation, which exposed how lax regulations led to the creation of massive sites where tens of thousands of tires were abandoned. 

The agency repeatedly fined the recycler and shut down Viva’s operation in Anderson County, where roughly 66,000 scrap tires have been stored.

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Tony Bartelme contributed to this report. 

Reach Gregory Yee at 843-937-5908. Follow him on Twitter @GregoryYYee.

Gregory Yee covers breaking news and public safety. He's a native Angeleno and previously covered crime and courts for the Press-Telegram in Long Beach, CA. He studied journalism and Spanish literature at the University of California, Irvine.