AGAWAM/SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Fire crews are still battling a massive fire at the landfill near Bondi’s Island.
"There were clouds and the pictures all out, so we didn’t know what was happening," said the owner of Pintus Indian Palace, Pintu Chawla.
Thick gray smoke is filling the region, flames shooting up into the air from the landfill near Bondi’s Island.
The City of Springfield's Department of Public Works (DPW) announced the landfill is closed Friday and Saturday as crews continue to battle the four-alarm fire that's lasted hours and could last for days.
The landfill will not be open to accepting yard waste drop off from residents until Monday, October 19.
The Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno released a statement to Western Mass News on the brush fire, saying:
"In addition, residents may continue to experience the presence of smoke, which may affect the air quality throughout the region, due to the brush fire from the Bondi’s Island landfill."
He said he viewed the site late Thursday afternoon and was concerned about the heavy smoke and air quality for the residents and businesses in Springfield, along with the adjacent cities and towns.
The mayor then requested the city's DPW officials to review and provide an explanation as to why the fire occurred and how they plan to resolve the issue as soon as possible.
The West Springfield Fire Department told Western Mass News they're asking residents in the vicinity to close their windows. They said while they are not expecting air quality to be an issue, they will be monitoring it.
The smoke can be seen for miles, and the smell in the air is traveling to various communities in western Mass.
"We had a couple of reservations. We had a party of 10 comings, they canceled; they didn’t feel safe coming out," Chawla explained.
Chawla told Western Mass News business is down 50 percent on Thursday due to the fire.
"We have two tents. We didn’t even turn it on because people are already complaining about it," he added.
He also said not only did customers not want to sit outside, but some didn't want to leave their homes at all.
"We had two cancellations on the takeout orders. They didn’t come to pick it up. So people are afraid, I think," Chawla explained.
He told us that as long as the fire continues to burn, the business will suffer.
"I’m sure tomorrow lunch is going to be very tough, especially if it’s stinky and smelly," he noted.
Agawam Police Department told Western Mass News that they're asking drivers to avoid Route 5 north and southbound from the South End Bridge to the Memorial Bridge until further notice.
Right now, that stretch of Route 5 is down to one lane in both directions to accommodate fire and emergency apparatus. The state's DPW has put up signboards and traffic safety equipment to alert drivers.