Republic Services garbage Truck
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -
A Republic services garbage truck caught on fire in a Las Vegas neighborhood Friday morning.
The incident occurred at 11:30 a.m. on Heavenly Star Circle, near Durango Drive and Washington Avenue.
The Republic Services truck was burned to pieces. The back of the vehicle, where the trash is stored, was relatively untouched. Most of the damage was to the front of the truck.
"I thought we were getting bombed, " said neighbor Malisa Winters. "I could feel the flames through the window. That's how hot it got."
Another neighbor, who lives a street away, said the explosion was so forceful it shook the paintings off her walls. Workers said the loud explosion was caused by popped tires.
The truck's driver hopped out before the flames overtook him, but he lost his wallet and cell phone. He was uninjured and in good spirits after the accident. Per company policy, he wasn't allowed to speak on camera.
"The driver came over to me and asked to use my phone, " said neighbor Frank Ruskowitz. "He didn't know what happened, but he was lucky he didn't get hurt."
A manager for Republic Services said the cause of the fire was a "mechanical failure, " but he couldn't get any more specific. OSHA was not called to the scene.
The mess took hours to clean up. The company called a tow truck and poured sand on the street to soak up spilled oil. Cleaning crews used a street sweeper and power washer, but the asphalt still looked charred.