New Jersey

Garbage Truck Bursts Into Flames Outside Burlington County High School

A garbage truck caught fire outside a Burlington County, New Jersey high school Thursday morning.

Luckily no one was hurt in the explosive blaze around 10:45 a.m. outside Shawnee High School along Tabernacle Road in Medford, township police said.

"I look back and it's just flames shooting out behind the cabin," said truck driver Mike May.

Flames quickly engulfed the truck, nearby grass and utility lines hanging from poles. The road was closed as fire crews worked to douse the blaze.

Witnesses described hearing small explosions as the fire burned. Officials said natural gas canisters that power the truck burst during the fire.

May was not injured in the blaze that left the truck badly damaged. He said he ran from the truck then called 911.

Medford Police Chief Richard Meder said homes were evacuated and Shawnee students were told to shelter in the school as a precaution.

"Definitely with the cylinders burning they could explode and launch off the side of the truck, said Medford Fire Chief Thomas Thorn

Crews had to pull smoldering trash from the truck. The blaze knocked out power, phone and cable service to neighbors.

The official cause of the fire has yet to be determined.

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