Smoke is still billowing out of the waste to energy plant in Lorton. The fire has caused major damage to a facility that take both Fairfax County and D.C.'s trash. Where will that trash go now?
The fire and damage it's caused means that trash from Fairfax county and D.C. will be sent to landfills instead of being converted to energy.
There are other concerns with this fire. Thursday night, flames poured out out of I-95 Energy Resource Recovery Facility, commonly referred to as the Fairfax County Incinerator. It's a waste to energy plant which burns trash and turns it into energy.
"I don't know what kind of chemical is in there. They said it was three levels, or three stories of trash and they can't get to to stop it," said Heather McDevitt who lives nearby.
Inside, trash is burning, but it's difficult for firefighters to get to the heart of the fire since there are few windows.
They began to knock holes into the side of the building. In a nearby community, residents worry about dirty air.
One community has the incinerator, still burning, on one side, and on the other side, a landfill that takes in construction debris.
That landfill is set to close in about two years, but residents don't like either one.
"The stench, besides this (fire) we always get the stench, (even without the fire) the stench is horrible," said George Ofosu who can see the incinerator tower and smoke from his house.
Fairfax County Fire Chief Richard Bowers says there is no threat to the public.
"This is something that unfortunately occurs as it relates to structure fires everyday. So, those occur and through evaporation ...a lot of that smoke goes away and any potently hazards do go away," said Chief Bowers.
Covanta owns the facility which burns about million tons of trash a year and turns it into energy to power 80,000 houses.
The company has an agreement with Fairfax County and D.C. to take all of their trash. But local leaders say the fire shows there's a problem that needs fixing.
"We can't afford to have fires at a facility like this. Not only because of the pollution it generates, but also the people in this community deserve better," said Dan Storck, Mt. Vernon Supervisor.
The Lorton fire looks similar to a fire at Covanta's Montgomery County incinerator in Dickerson, Md. two months ago.
"New technologies are available, and I think they can approve up what they're doing. So this may be an opportunity? Absolutely."
Covanta owns 41 incinerators or waste to energy plants across North America. The Lorton plant is one of the largest. But, it's 25 years old. There is optimism that the fire will cause Covanta to rebuild the facility using the newest technology to make it more efficient and safer.