Fire crews knocked down a fire inside a garbage compactor at Walmart, arriving just before midnight Monday, Jan. 26. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Fire crews knocked down a fire inside a garbage compactor at Walmart, arriving just before midnight Monday, Jan. 26. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Williams Lake fire dept. responds fire in garbage compactor at Walmart

“It was human-caused,” said the store’s manager

Williams Lake Fire Dept. responded to a fire at Walmart just before midnight on Monday, Jan. 26, that was contained to a garbage compactor located at the back of the building.

Walmart store manager Andrea Lee told the Tribune one of the store’s associates heard a noise coming from the metal compactor and was alerted of the fire.

“No one was injured, everyone was OK,” Lee said, adding the fire was ‘human-caused,’ but she could not comment further.

Assistant Fire Chief Joan Flaspohler said the department was called at 11:40 p.m. and responded with Engine 11, Ladder 11 and Tender 12.

“When we arrived the door of the compactor bin, which is about 10 feet by 30 feet, was open and the fire was fully involved,” she said. “There was lots of smoke.”

The location of the compactor bin was far from a hydrant so crews used water from the trucks rather than running hoses, she explained.

As for the cause, Flaspohler said the product was so badly burned it will be hard to tell, but she did a general investigation.

“In talking with the manager, she said the door is usually secured shut.”

It was fortunate crews knocked the fire down within an hour because there is an access panel from the store to put product through to the bin, Flaspohler said, adding dispatch instructed the manager to get everyone to evacuate because a bit of smoke was getting into the store.

Once the fire was out, members of the fire department went into the store to do an assessment and determined everything was fine.

Read more: Pioneer Complex fire ‘may have been intentionally set,’ says Williams Lake RCMP

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