Jul 2, 2010 7:44 PM by Stefanie Boe; David Gligorea; Andy Koen

Fire in trash truck forced closure of Powers

Northbound Powers was closed at Platte for about an hour after a grass fire started by a fire inside a garbage truck.

Firefighters attempted to douse the flames by spraying water directly into the parked truck but were unsuccessful.

So, commanders decided to move the truck to a clear space where they could dump the flaming refuse and properly hose it down.

"Because we were on that busy highway on a holiday weekend we didn't want to keep that road closed any longer than we had to so we chose to move it off and it was safe to do so and we did that," explained fire department spokesman Lt. J.J. Halsey.

The trash truck driver, escorted by a half dozen fire trucks first, first drove north the Kmart parking lot on Powers and Palmer Park.

The parking lot was more crowed than they had anticipated, so they then moved again, back south on Powers to Platte heading for the Flea Market.  On the way the veered north into the parking lot at the Asian Pacific Market. 

By 3:50 fire crews dumped the burning contents of the truck and started putting out the flames.

A spokesperson for Waste Management says their trucks are capable of safely handling a small fire in the trash collection bin, and that the driver was fully trained to deal with this kind of problem.

There were no injuries as a result of the fire, nor from a three car accident on southbound Powers Boulevard that happened immediately after the grassfire was started.

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