Toxic water flowed into Dunn Swamp - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Toxic water flowed into Dunn Swamp

Reported by Kristy Ondo - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

CHADBOURN, NC (WECT) - Carolina Tire Sales in Chadbourn was destroyed when a fire broke out early Tuesday morning.

Firefighters spent over 17 hours trying to battle the blaze and spent nearly two days trying to put it out.

Investigators say the fire was arson and are looking for three people they say could be responsible for the flames.

Now, Dunn Swamp is feeling the effects from the tire fire, as ash and remnants seep into the water.   

Toxic runoff water from fighting the fire brought dangerous levels of carbon into the swamp. 

"A lot of black, dirty water flowed into the Dunn Swamp," said Rick Shiver with the NC Department of Environmental & Natural Resources.  "It created an oxygen demand and killed roughly about 200 fish."

Shiver said there are several beaver dams around the swamp, and wildlife experts had to take them down to keep the water flowing and get rid of the ash.

Initially officials thought Lake Waccamaw could be affected, but authorities say the lake is okay. Lake Waccamaw is 17 miles east of Dunn Swamp, and the toxic runoff has been flowing to the west.

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