A trash truck belonging to Burrtec Waste Industries caught fire at approximately 1:20 p.m. on Friday, forcing the truck to dump its load onto the street.
The fire occurred on the 26000 block of Avenue Hall in Valencia and, according to Giovanni Sanchez, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Fire Department, firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the fire.
On the scene, Dennis Verner, general manager of Burrtec, said the fire originated in the container section of the trash truck and that although the exact cause of the fire is unknown, Verner suspects a battery in the load most likely played a part.
“We dump thousands of loads and they’re not always catching on fire,” said Verner.
Verner noted that these types of fires are rare and that because this load was collected in the industrial district, batteries were the most likely culprit. Verner said when batteries — especially large ones from computers or laptops — are compacted, the chances of combustion go up significantly. Verner said customers can properly dispose of batteries by calling Burrtec directly or using a local e-waste disposal service offered by the city.
Verner also said that the driver called 911 when the fire started and was instructed by the Fire Department to dump the load onto the street. Crews from Burrtec and the city of Santa Clarita were on the scene to close off the block and clean up the mess.
No injuries were reported and the city will street clean the area once it’s cleared of trash to sanitize the area.