This article was originally published at 8:30 p.m. Nov. 1, and updated at 2:47 p.m. Nov. 2 with comments from Waste Management.
A garbage truck caught fire Friday in a Murrieta neighborhood, sending flames shooting several feet into the air.
The fire involving a Waste Management truck was reported at 2:02 p.m. on Kingwood Road, near Torrey Pines Road, according to Mario Monroy, a battalion chief for the Murrieta Fire Department.
“At no time were there any structures threatened,” Monroy said.
Resident Melissa Campbell witnessed the incident and snapped photos of the flames.
Campbell told Patch she had just pulled into her driveway and noticed the garbage truck was parked in front of her house. She began talking to her 2-year-old son about the truck, when she said she thought she overheard one of the garbage workers mention a fire.
She saw the truck pull away from the curb.
A short time later, the driver stopped, opened up the back of the truck and a burning pile of trash fell out, she said.
“I called 911 and told them they needed to send a fire truck,” Campbell said. “It was quite a site! A very helpful person even ran out with his garden hose to try and help, and I think he even stayed to help with some fire extinguishers.”
Monroy said firefighters were immediately dispatched to the scene.
He explained that when trash catches fire inside of a truck, the driver is supposed to release the load into a pile. From there, firefighters take over the efforts of containing the fire.
In Friday’s incident, Monroy said one engine crew remained on scene until about 5:15 p.m., when Waste Management arrived with a tractor to further dispose of the debris.
What caused the fire to break out remains unknown, according to Eloisa Orozco, a spokeswoman for Waste Management. Orozco said the driver followed the proper procedure by "pulling over to a safe place and dropping the load."
According to Orozco, fires can start for a number of reasons, such as if a resident throws away embers from a barbecue.
"There were no injuries and no property damages," Orozco said. "We are certainly thankful for the resident who called it in and the fire department who came out quickly."