Trash truck bin catches on fire in Grover Beach

jhickey@thetribunenews.comOctober 29, 2013 

A truckload of smoldering cardboard was dumped onto a Grover Beach street this morning so that firefighters could extinguish a fire that started in the bin area of the trash collection truck.

Just before 10 a.m. Tuesday, Five Cities Fire Authority received reports of a trash truck on fire heading toward the station, according to a news release.

The truck driver had noticed heat rising from the bin area of his truck, and gained the attention of a nearby Grover Beach Police patrol car. They drove to the fire Station 68 at Rockaway Boulevard in Grover Beach, and closed the area to traffic.

“This was a mountain-going-to-Muhammad kind of deal. How often does the fire come to the fire station?” said Peter Klein, spokesman for the Five Cities Fire Authority.

Station 68 personnel attacked the fire, which had flames and smoke rising from within the truck at times, by climbing ladders and pumping in more than 500 gallons of water and foam. The large amount of dry cardboard inside the bin absorbed nearly all of it.

To protect the vehicle and surrounding property, “It was determined the best course of action would be to dump the smoldering trash onto the street and attack the blaze at ground level,” the news release said.

While piled on the street, firefighters used a thermal imaging camera to locate hot spots deep in the heap and used hand tools to work through the pile of recyclables.

The Grover Beach Police Department and Department of Public Works worked together to prevent contaminated water from leaking into storm drains.

Fire crews were on scene for more than two hours.

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