Garbage truck fire closes lanes on Interstate 370 -- Gazette.Net


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A fire engulfed a trash truck in Gaithersburg on Friday, shutting down lanes of traffic on Interstate 370 and causing delays.

Montgomery County firefighters and Gaithersburg city police officers reached the fire on the eastbound lane of 370 near the exit to Shady Grove Road at 3:33 p.m., said Assistant Chief Scott Graham, a Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service spokesman. No one was injured in the blaze.

“It’s not uncommon, we have several of these a week,” Graham said of calls for fires in the backs of trash trucks. “Something at one of their pickups was probably still smoldering a little bit and once they drove out onto the highway and picked up some speed, some air got to it and fanned it into flame.”

By the time rescue workers arrived the fire had spread into the truck cab, but the blaze was quickly extinguished, Graham said.

Traffic remained congested on 370 and nearby sections of Interstate 270 while firefighters cleared the scene.

“It’s probably going to screw up the intersection for another hour or so because what we have to do is get all that trash cleaned up and make sure none of it’s still burning,” Graham said about 4:30 p.m.

jarias@gazette.net