Garbage truck set on fire by mobile phone and had to be rescued by firefighters

Three fire crews were called after a used phone battery set fire to a garbage truck – you can see firefighters battling the blaze here:

In a Facebook post, Horsham District Council said three West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service crews were needed to bring the blaze under control and urged people not to throw away old mobile phones with the domestic recycling.

The message read: ‘Fortunately no one was injured and three West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service crews responded to bring things under control. The most likely cause of the fire is a lithium-ion cell phone battery.

‘When someone put this in their recycling we’re sure they didn’t think it would result in three fire crews, significant disruption to roadside residents and over five tonnes of recycling lost. But he did.

Credit: Horsham District Council

“We’ll be sharing more posts this summer about what can and can’t be recycled, and if you have a question, don’t hesitate to ask. In this particular case, small electrical appliances can be recycled through our free collection service or dropped off at a recycling centre.

The council also confirmed that the West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service had launched an investigation into the blaze.

It comes just weeks after firefighters in London issued a warning about the dangers of lithium-ion batteries in e-bikes.

A fire broke out at a skyscraper in Shepherd’s Bush last month after firefighters determined an electric bicycle was the cause.

London Fire Department Assistant Fire Safety Commissioner Charlie Pugsley said in a statement: “It is incredibly concerning that we continue to see an increase in incidents involving e-bikes.

Credit: Horsham District Council
Credit: Horsham District Council

“When these batteries and chargers fail, they do so with ferocity and because fires grow so quickly, the situation can quickly become incredibly serious. These items are often stored in common areas and hallways and can block the only means of escape for people.

“Another issue with fires involving lithium-ion batteries that we saw in yesterday’s fire is that when they fail they eject their contents over a wide area, which can result in multiple areas of fire. burn in the room where the fire broke out.”

He also warned: “There is a significant risk posed by e-bikes which have been converted and we are mainly seeing fires in those which have been purchased from online markets and batteries which have been purchased over the internet which may not not meet the correct safety standards.”

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