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Garbage truck contents catch fire during morning run

A garbage truck driver acted fast when he noticed smoke billowing from his load on 41 Avenue August 18.
August 18, 2014 - 12:10 PM

VERNON - A truck driver dumped a load of flaming garbage in the parking lot of a Vernon high school Monday morning. 

Vernon Fire Capt. Reinhard Mann says a Waste Management employee had picked up a load of garbage elsewhere in Vernon when he noticed smoke billowing out from the back of the truck. 

He pulled into the nearest safe place to dump his load, the W.L. Seaton Secondary School parking lot on 41 Avenue. The drivers are trained to dump their loads to ensure personal safety and to minimize damage to the truck.

When the Vernon fire department arrived at the school, the contents of the truck—mostly cardboard—were spilled into a 20 foot by 20 foot pile with fames licking about 10 feet in the air.

There were students inside the school at the time, but the principal noticed the smoke and evacuated the building. Mann says the fire was a good 30-40 feet from the school and the wind was blowing in a favourable direction away from it.

The fire threatened a nearby grassy area, but crews soaked down the area and quickly put the blaze to rest.

The driver was unharmed and his truck received little, if any damage. There may be some damage to the asphalt in the parking lot of the school.

Mann says the driver did the right thing pulling over and dumping the contents of the truck rather than continuing on to his destination.

“It could’ve caused considerable damage to the vehicle and certainly we don’t want any of the hot embers going up to the dump, especially in these dry conditions. We’ve had enough issues up there,” Mann says.

No cause has been determined.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

—This story was edited at 12:30 p.m. Aug. 18 to add information and photos. 

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

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