Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Trash Truck Fire Last Week

LA City firefighters douse a smoldering pile of burning trash dumped out from a trash truck last Friday in Hancock Park. (photo from Laurie Stoneman)


It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s a mess! Last Friday, a trash truck had to dump a load of burning trash on the street in Hancock Park while it was doing routine pick up at the corner or June Street and Clinton Avenue.

“The fire trucks came and, after huge piles of lord-knows-what were pushed from the truck, hosed down the smoldering mess,” Buzz reader Laurie Stoneman told us. “The trash truck was saved, the fire department left and the Department of Sanitation arrived to clean up. All is proceeding smoothly.  Just a little something different to liven up the morning.”



Later that morning, Stoneman told us she watched “like a little kid as a skip loader with a giant clam-like claw grasped huge bundles of trash and chugged over to the waiting trash trucks over and over to dump its cargo. It was definitely making light work of a nasty job! Once everything was picked up, a street cleaner washed down the intersection a few times. Everything was clean and they were out of there by early afternoon. It was nice seeing an LA City department working so efficiently!”

The last time we reported a trash truck fire in the neighborhood, fire department officials told the Buzz that materials like oily rags in the trash can heat up and spontaneously combust.  While trash truck fires don’t happen very often, we can help avoid them by making sure not to put anything warm or hot in the trash, suggested Drew Fortier of Fire Station 61.  For example, be sure that coals from barbecues or any embers from a fireplace or pizza oven are completely out or cold before they go into the trash, said Fortier, who added that dousing them in water just to make sure is a good precaution.

In this case, the  supervisor who was on site on Friday told Stoneman it was anyone’s guess what cause this fire, “any number of things could have started it – things rubbing together, chemicals etc. He was just glad the truck didn’t go up in flames,” said Stoneman.

And special thanks to Stoneman, too, for being so quick with her phone, capturing photos and video, and sharing them with the Buzz!


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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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