A residential garbage truck engulfed in flames on Fort Wainwright

Residential trash truck catches fire on Ft. Wainwright. Photo by Chuck Gibbs, Ft. Wainwright...
Residential trash truck catches fire on Ft. Wainwright. Photo by Chuck Gibbs, Ft. Wainwright Fire Chief.(KTVF)
Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 6:09 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - This morning around 11:20 a.m. a garbage truck picking up garbage, operated by Mainscape, caught fire on Fort Wainwright.

According to Fort Wainwright Fire Chief Chuck Gibbs, “the driver reported hearing and feeling a small explosion in the back of his truck after compacting a load of trash and immediately pulled over into a parking lot in the vicinity of 601st Street and Pine Street.”

“The driver called 911, and we dispatched two fire engines and an ambulance, plus one command vehicle,” Gibbs said. “The truck was fully engulfed in flame when we arrived.”

Fort Wainwright Fire Department quickly put out the fire. There were no injuries or any damage to structures in the area. The truck valued at approximately $350,000 was a total loss.

Staff from the Department of Public Works, Environmental Division, responded to the scene to conduct an environmental assessment and clean-up.

Lendlease project manager Ron Johnson stated probable cause of the fire was likely due to improperly discarded hazardous materials and or hot ash and coals from a grill.

Johnson wants to remind all Fort Wainwright residents to follow all policies on discarding hazardous materials and ash published by North Haven Communities, the Department of Public Works, and the garrison.

“Residents can bring hazardous materials to the Hazardous Waste Collection Facility at 3489 Chippewa Ave on post and dispose of them for free,” Johnson said.

All ash and coals from backyard grills should be cool to the touch before discarding in residential trash cans.

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