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Firefighters Respond to Bizarre Trash Fire at Kirwan Heights Industrial Park

A garbage truck picked up a load of trash at the Kirwan Heights Industrial Park when the driver said he heard an explosion and saw flames coming from the rear of the vehicle.

With high winds and rain from the remnants of Superstorm Sandy pounding western Pennsylvania, it was a trash fire that had Kirwan Heights firefighters on alert late Monday night.

A garbage truck picked up a load of trash at the Kirwan Heights Industrial Park shortly after 11 p.m. when the driver said he heard an explosion and saw flames coming from the rear of the vehicle. He found an open gravel lot and dumped the load into a pile of flaming trash.

“It was unusual,” Kirwan Heights fire Chief Mark Lewis said. “Those things are usually pretty sticky.”

Lewis said someone in the industrial park along Mayer Street apparently had dumped chemicals into the trash, which mixed with water in the truck and ignited.

Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire.

“They usually lose those (trash) trucks, but he said it’s happened before so he knew how to dump the load,” Lewis said.

That was basically the highlight of the night for firefighters, who said they dealt with few problems from the storm that passed through western Pennsylvania overnight.

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