County Inspects Trucks After Leaf Debris Leads to Fire

Montgomery County officials yesterday ordered an inspection of the county’s fleet of dump trucks used for leaf collection after one truck caught fire just before 10:30 a.m. while traveling on Democracy Boulevard.

Debris from leaf collection clogged the truck’s cabin filter, according to County spokeswoman Esther Bowring, causing the fire that appeared to burn much of the front cab.

There were no injuries from the incident. Police closed down the three westbound lanes of Democracy Boulevard while the fire was put out.

Bowring said the Department of Transportation would inspect the other 24 leaf collection trucks by the end of the day yesterday and that a new procedure has been put in place for drivers to do daily inspections of the cabin filter to ensure the filters have not become clogged with leaf debris.

The truck was a 1998 International dump truck with 91,000 miles. The other 24 trucks in the fleet are the same make, model and year, Bowring said.

The last maintenance on the vehicle that caught fire was Sept. 21 at 90,000 miles and the truck had no previous history of HVAC problems.

The county’s downcounty leaf collection program started Nov. 5. More information on when the county will make pick-ups in specific areas can be found here.

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