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Hot ashes cause Thursday garbage truck fire

Posted: Thursday, Feb 21st, 2013

Firefighters douse burning garbage on Thursday afternoon.

MONTE VISTA—A fire ignited in a Waste Management garbage truck on Thursday, Feb. 14.

Monte Vista firefighters and police reported to a call that the garbage in the truck had caught on fire. The driver pulled over in the lot between Grande Avenue and Fullenweider Park and dumped the garbage.

Police officers blocked off the street as firefighters doused the garbage. Captain Glen Slingerland of the Monte Vista Fire Department said the fire had been caused by hot ashes. Someone had thrown away the ashes without making sure that they had been fully extinguished.

Robert Spise of Waste Management said there was little damage to the truck; the damage was easily repaired with some paint. He had no comment as to whether or not there is any investigation in process to discover where the ashes were picked up.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. There have been other, and much worse, cases where fires have started in trucks. Another large concern is that people may throw away ammunition and combustible materials.

To help keep this from happening again Waste Management has sent out fliers to their customers asking that ashes and cat litter be bagged separately.

During the colder months of the year it is common for people to dispose of ashes. This can be a safe practice if people are careful to ensure that the ashes are completely cooled.

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