By Mike Anderson

Firefighters extinguished a fire in a tractor-trailer containing construction debris at the Georgina Transfer Station, located at 23068 Warden Ave. in Keswick, on Thursday morning, due to the quick thinking of the truck driver and staff.

According to a witness, the trailer was quickly towed away from other combustible materials when smoke was detected. And the burning contents were pushed out on the ground, as the trailer had a walkout floor.

Staff called the fire department immediately.

According to Fire Chief Ron Jenkins, five fire trucks arrived shortly after receiving the call at 7:41 a.m., and the fire was extinguished. The fire never reached the transfer station itself, and the trailer was not damaged.

Debris fire at Georgina Transfer Station

While the exact cause of the fire was not determined – an investigation does not occur if there is no dollar loss or injury – it may have been caused by a discarded household battery or other hazardous materials in the construction debris.

According to Jenkins, household batteries can cause fires when they are damaged, in this case, by heavy machinery used at the transfer station, like a garbage compactor or front-end loader.

“The acid could leak out, or the battery terminals could come into contact with metal and ignite combustibles around it and cause a fire,” he said.

Jenkins says residents should discard their used batteries and hazardous materials at the transfer stations’ Household Hazardous Waste Drop-off, which is open Tuesday and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“People should dispose of batteries and hazardous materials appropriately for the safety of people working at the transfer station and firefighters.”

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