Firefighters douse trash fire at Edgartown transfer station

Edgartown firefighters extinguished a fire in a trash hauling trailer at the transfer station on Edgartown-West Tisbury Road early Saturday morning. A driver passing by saw the flames and called 9-1-1 about 6 am.

Fire chief Peter Shemeth said the first firefighters to arrive knocked down the flames, then ordered the trailer moved away from other loaded containers.

“My concern was where it melted part of the aluminum trailer body,” Chief Shemeth said. “I wanted to make sure the tires were intact, so we still had the ability to move it away.”

After moving the trailer to a safer location, firefighters emptied the still smouldering trash on the ground, and wet down the debris.

Chief Shemeth said the cause of the fire was probably spontaneous combustion, where decaying garbage generated so much heat that combustible material caught fire.