Centralia Resident Describes Garbage Truck Blaze

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CENTRALIA - Centralia Public Works told KOMU 8 News Friday an early morning explosion and fire totaled one of its garbage trucks and severely damaged the other.  The Centralia Fire Department said it suspects a battery or wire problem caused the explosion.  

Police said they do not suspect a suspicious cause in the incident.

Centralia Public Works told KOMU 8 News that class of truck costs between $150,000 and $250,000 and damages should be covered by insurance.  Public works added that garbage collection did not happen Friday.  Collection will likely resume Monday with the help of two trucks from Mexico.

Leslie Beamer, a Centralia resident, explained the situation, "I step around and I see a big flame of fire. I couldn't tell I run back inside and hear another boom which they said was the tires popping I said 'Get the kids, Get the kids,' called 911, and they said we should evacuate."

Beamer told KOMU 8 News the situation was frightening primarily because many of the city's gas tanks are stored near the garbage trucks.