November 1, 2023
Photos and story by: Mike Ratcliffe
TRENTON (Mercer) – Firefighters investigating a haze of smoke discovered a fire inside a city public works building this evening (Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023). It was about 7:30 p.m. when Battalion 1 and Rescue 1, returning to quarters from a previous assignment, spotted a smoke condition in the 400 block of Brunswick Avenue. Investigating, they discovered the smoke appeared to be coming from a large warehouse on the grounds of the city’s municipal waste facility at 476 Brunswick Avenue. Firefighters accessed the gated property, then made entry to the building to find the smoke was coming from a burning garbage truck.
Additional firefighters from Engines 10, 1, 6 and 7, Ladders 4 and 1, and Special Services 1 were called to the scene as the “All Hands” signal for a working fire was transmitted. Firefighters stretched a 2.5-inch hoseline and attempted to extinguish the fire. However, it was found that the fire was burning inside the closed trash hopper of the garbage truck. With the help of a city public works employee, firefighters moved the truck outside to an empty area of the property, where it posed no further hazard to the building. While the fire never spread to the building itself, there was a significant amount of smoke inside the structure that firefighters had to clear out with fans.
Around 9:15 p.m. it was reported that efforts to clear all the smoke out of the building were still underway. It was also reported that firefighters were still working with public works personnel to get into the trash hopper, as damage to the truck’s hydraulic lines had made it impossible for the opening mechanism to function properly.