Garbage truck catches fire

Truck leaks hydraulic fluid into storm sewer, Ohio EPA notified

WARREN — A city garbage truck that caught fire while on its route Friday morning leaked hydraulic fluid onto the road and into a storm drain once the blaze damaged the system that controls the arm used to lift and empty the trash cans.

“The fire happened between the bin and the cabin of the truck. It caused extensive damage to the hydraulic system,” said Safety Service Director Enzo Cantalamessa.

The truck’s operator was not hurt.

The fire happened at about 8:30 a.m. while the truck was collecting trash on Hollywood Street NE between Bonnie Brae and Kenilworth avenues NE, said fire Chief Ken Nussle.

Firefighters set up dikes to prevent the hydraulic fluid from spreading, Nussle said, but, according to Cantalamessa, some of the escaped fluid made its way to a catch basin, setting into a motion a protocol to notify the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency of the spill.

The Ohio EPA will try to determine how much fluid made its way into the sewer system, and assess the best way to clean it up, Cantalamessa said. Part of the plan will be to use a vacuum truck to clean the basin to prevent the material from making its way into the treatment system.

The garbage truck was towed. A second truck was brought in to continue the route, Cantalamessa said. It’s unknown if the truck can be repaired or is considered a total loss.