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ST. LOUIS COUNTY - In a strongly worded statement, Pattonville Fire Chief Terry Loehrer angrily defended his department's position about the growing concerns regarding the Bridgeton Landfill fires breaching the interceptor wells.

Our report focused on two new concerns. First, Washington University geochemist Bob Criss said he was positive, based on available data, that the Bridgeton fires have collided with radioactive nuclides in the groundwater. In addition, new information indicated heat from the fires had breached the interceptor well at 56R. Assistant fire Chief Matt LeVanchy spoke to the departments concerns.

STORY: Wash U geochemist: Fire & radioactive particles collide at landfill

Here is the statement made by Republic, which owns the Bridgeton Landfill, followed by Chief Loehrer's press release.

Thursday on Newschannel 5 at 5 p.m. 5 on Your Side's Leisa Zigman had bombshell documents showing how far back the government considered West Lake extremely dangerous to public health, and the attempts by one federal agencies to get out of having to pay for cleanup.

Republic's statement following our report Wednesday night on NewsChannel 5 at 10 p.m.: "It is irresponsible for Criss and LaVanchy to fuel stories that scare people when the state and federal regulators who actually work on the site repeatedly offer reassurance and caution."

STORY: Nuclear waste dump: Who is responsible?

Statement from Chief Loehrer:

"The Pattonville Fire District takes offense to statements made by Republic Services Inc. contained in media outlets last evening. Their statement that called Assistant Chief LaVanchy "irresponsible for fueling stories that scare people" is baseless and demands a response.

"When the Pattonville Fire District is asked about information gained from public sources, and evaluated by several governmental agencies and independent experts, we have an obligation to share that information and advise the public of the impact to our mission.

"The recent disclosure of data at Gas Extraction Well #56R shows that the "neck" area, connecting to the North Quarry, is heating and providing higher levels of CO. The reporting of additional well data in that area, recently mandated by the Missouri Attorney General's office, may provide evidence that the smoldering event has continued to move into the North Quarry towards the nuclear waste site in Westlake. This information is critical to our planning."

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