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Firefighters battle blaze in Waste Management truck

PINELLAS PARK — A trash packer truck had to dump its load on the road Wednesday so firefighters could put out a blaze that had ignited inside it.

Crews were called to 85th Avenue and 49th Street N about 2:30 p.m.

They found smoke coming from the Waste Management truck, which had just picked up a load of what the driver believed was pool-type chemicals.

"It wasn't burning like a fire," said Lt. Gary Berkheimer, spokesman for the Pinellas Park Fire Department. "It was more like fumes."

Firefighters were able to put out the blaze within about 25 minutes, Berkheimer said.

No injuries were reported. Nearby residents were told to stay inside while firefighters worked.

The truck sustained about $5,000 in damage. Afterward, Waste Management put the dumped waste into a couple of large trash bins.

Berkheimer said the incident is a good reminder for people not to put certain chemicals in their regular trash. Residents should instead drop off their items at the Household Electronics and Chemical Collection Center at 2855 109th Ave. N in St. Petersburg, he said.

Firefighters battle blaze in Waste Management truck 09/08/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 8, 2010 5:47pm]
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