Knox County hiring private contractor to extinguish fires

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Knox County officials will hire a private contractor to put out fires burning in a sinkhole that was used as an illegal dump.

County crews were called off the job Thursday after it became apparent that larger equipment was needed.

County engineering director Bruce Wuethrich says he hopes work can resume on Monday.

Wuethrich says it's believed the pit -- about 40 feet deep -- doesn't contain anything but debris from demolished buildings, tree stumps, brush and concrete.

Carbon monoxide from underground fires had earlier forced evacuation of a half-dozen nearby homes, but levels of the gas have decreased.


Information from: The Knoxville News Sentinel,

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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