Garbage Load Fire in Groot Garbage Truck Fire at Recreation Park, Arlington Heights

Police and firefighter/paramedics from Arlington Heights responded about 7:58 a.m. Thursday January 23, 2020 to a report of garbage on fire in the parking lot between the swimming pool and the baseball diamond at Recreation Park, 500 East Miner Street in Arlington Heights.

Firefighters on arrival discovered that a Groot garbage truck driver dumped his load at the west end of the parking lot when he discovered the load was on fire. He then drove the garbage truck to the east end of the parking lot away from the burning load.

Firefighters extinguished the fire by about 8:30 a.m. and left the scene to Groot for cleanup. Groot brought an end loader to the scene, loaded the garbage pile back into the truck, and hauled it away. No injuries were reported.

A witness reported that the load was burning about ten minutes before the fire engine arrived on the scene. Possibly, the Groot garbage truck driver did not immediately call in the fire to 9-1-1 after the fire was discovered. The truck’s load was dumped, and the truck was already separated a good distance from the load when firefighters arrived. The witness, who was on an exercise walk in the area, said he noticed the smoke when he was at Arlington Heights Road and Miner Street, and walked to the scene before firefighters arrived. He described that the fire was burning for a long time before any fire engine was on the scene, and the smoke wafting through air into the neighborhood north of Recreation Park was disagreeable, smelling like burning plastic.

Wind was from the south at 8 MPH with light snow, fog, and mist; and air temperature 30°F, according to the National Weather Station at O’Hare at 7:51 a.m. Thursday January 23, 2020.

At Chicago Executive Airport, the National Weather Station reported wind South at 9 MPH with light snow; and air temperature 32°F.

The information in this article is an early report published before any summary information was confirmed or released by police or fire authorities.

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