Amherst firefighters extinguish trash fire dumped from garbage truck onto parking lot

Last modified: Friday, September 05, 2014

AMHERST — Firefighters extinguished a pile of flaming trash that caught fire in a garbage truck Friday morning.

Fire Chief Walter “Tim” Nelson said an engine responded at 7:32 a.m. to 169 Meadow St., the parking lot of Kimballs Auction and Estate Services, after the driver for Commercial Disposal Co. Inc. of West Springfield, reported smoke coming from the trash in his truck.

The truck driver deposited the entire load onto a vacant North Amherst parking lot — a protocol followed by trash haulers when a fire is suspected. “He did exactly what he’s supposed to do,” Nelson said. Firefighters attacked the fire from a distance out of concern that some of the contents might be dangerous, Nelson said, and six or seven aerosol cans exploded and flew through the air during the fire, but no one was injured.

A Department of Public Works backhoe was brought to the scene to break up the garbage and allow firefighters to wet down the entire contents.

Shortly after 8 a.m. the fire was out and the company was sending a Dumpster and cleanup crew to the parking lot, which was not damaged.

Nelson said trash fires on garbage trucks are somewhat common and he does not expect any further investigation. The last trash on board was picked up in Sandisfield, according to Amherst police.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at


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