The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

June 14, 2014

Meth lab refuse ignites fire aboard Ashtabula garbage truck

ASHTABULA — A sanitation worker had to deal with the flaming contents of a garbage truck after methamphetamine components among the refuse ignited.

Police Chief Robert Stell said the chemicals had been placed in garbage bags and city crews picked them up Friday morning and tossed them in the back of the truck, not knowing the contents.

“It set the garbage truck on fire,” he said.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze before it spread through the pile filled with graduation wrapping paper, remnants of open houses and other household waste.

Stell said with the Sanitation Department’s help they were able to determine the  residence — 511W. 29th St., specifically in the garage.

“Our detectives are investigating and searching the residence,” he said.

The Ashtabula Fire Department stayed on the scene, as well.

Dom Iarocci, superintendent of public services, said the refuse truck was undamaged. City crews called him when they saw smoke coming from the truck. Iarocci told them to call the fire department, he said.

“Thank God that the guys didn’t compact (the trash),” he said. “We had to dump the stuff on the ground and the fire department went through it.”

Iarocci said it appeared somebody had a big meth operation going on there.

City Manager Jim Timonere said it was very disturbing because children were living in the house.

“I hate knowing adults would put kids in our community in harm’s way,” he said.

Stell said no arrests have been made, but the incident is under investigation.

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