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Garbage Truck Fire Causes Hazmat Situation In Lincoln-Lemington

LINCOLN-LEMINGTON (KDKA) - A routine garbage pick-up route turned into a Hazmat situation this morning after something in the truck started smoking.

When you think of garbage pick-up days in most neighborhoods, it's no big deal. However, along Lemington Avenue it proved to be an exciting morning.

It was around 7 a.m. when the normal rubbish pickup evolved into a Hazmat situation.

Unbeknownst to them, the Environmental Services worker accidently threw chemicals hidden in a trash bag into the truck. They mixed, caught fire and produced a potentially dangerous foam.

"I really don't know what chemicals or anything else was or if it was hazardous," Gregory Olverson said.

As firefighters went door-to-door, Hazmat crews arrived to contain the situation.

As it turns out, officials were able to track where they believed the chemicals came from, which happened to be Olverson's trash.

He was clearing out some of his deceased father's belongings from the basement.

"I just remember it was something heavy," Olverson said.

The truck was taken out of service and was decontaminated. Pittsburgh Environmental Services said this is a common problem.

In fact, 15 years ago an Environmental Services worker was overcome by toxic fumes and suffered irreparable neurological damage.

If you have any question on what you should or shouldn't be throwing away, most municipalities have information on their web sites, which will tell you what you can or can't put on the curb.

Also, many communities have special pick-up days for chemicals like the ones that reacted this morning.

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