Discarded fireworks combusted and caused a Town of Culpeper trash truck to catch fire Thursday morning in Redwood Lakes.
There were no injuries or damage to the truck and the driver continued his route—after getting some help putting out the fire that spread to other garbage.
Neighbor Larry Smith was headed to the mailbox around 10:30 a.m. with his dog, Spanky, when he saw the trash truck at Virginia Avenue and Keswick Drive with white smoke pouring out of it.
Smith grabbed a spare fire extinguisher and ran it over to the driver whose extinguisher was nearly depleted.
“The smoke slowed down but we could hear the snap, crackle pop of it still burning somewhere deeper inside the truck and yes, it was stinky,” Smith said.
Culpeper County Volunteer Fire Dept. Co. 1 responded to the town housing development along with Culpeper PD.
Culpeper Public Works Director Jim Hoy asked the public to be cautious to not put combustible material in the trash.
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Another challenge this time of year, he said, is residents dumping hot ashes, coals and embers from their woodstove or fireplace into the trash.
Not only will it burn through the plastic garbage containers but can similarly start a fire in the truck, Hoy said. The best way to dispose of hot ashes is to place them in a metal pail to cool and use water to douse, if necessary, the public works director said.