Pelham firefighters, county hazmat team deal with garbage truck fire on Fifth Avenue

Village of Pelham firefighters responded to a fire in the rear of a sanitation truck right outside the firehouse Monday and needed to call the Westchester County Hazmat Team because the truck’s contents were unknown and at one point parts of the trash pile “began to boil,” according to a statement from the fire department.

When the crew of the truck requested aid due to smoke, “it was clear there was a garbage fire inside the rear of the truck,” said the statement, which was posted on the Pelham Professional Firefighters Local 2213 Facebook page. “A portion of the load inside the truck was dumped. Due to the garbage being packed so tight, members had to move layers of garbage to get to the point of origin to extinguish the small fire.”

Despite pouring a great deal of water on the pile, the statement said, “it was difficult to find the source of the smoke due to the compacted layers.”

On arrival, the county hazmat team “determined that portions of the load were corrosive and needed to be neutralized,” the fire department said. Once the hazmat team dealt with the corrosive materials and assessed the water runoff from firefighting efforts, the section of Fifth Avenue in front of the fire house was washed down and reopened.

The Village of Pelham Department of Public Works mobilized a pay loader to assist the firefighters, and Pelham police handled traffic control.