Arlington Heights firefighters work to extinguish a fire in a Groot garbage truck and its load that was dumped on the street.
The fire was extinguished within 15 minutes, but the fire was in the center of the load so the load had to be dumped into the street to get to the fire. Firefighters still had to water down the inside of the truck because some debris remained on fire in the inside walls of the garbage truck. The large pile of trash that had to be dumped into the street also had some smoldering garbage that needed to be extinguished.
Extra care is taken to protect the environment from garbage runoff into the water drainage and sewer systems. Fires in garbage trucks can start from burning cigarettes or from exothermic chemical reactions that give off heat when chemicals in the garbage mix and react and cause ignition of the garbage in the truck.