Republic Services Driver Jason Hagenow said he smelled smoke when he was southbound on 180th Avenue near Taft Road. After pulling over, climbing up the truck and looking inside, Hagenow saw smoke.
Hagenow said he pulled into the Lake Hills Elementary School parking lot hoping it was empty so he could drop the load. Hagenow said the garbage didn’t flame up until it was out of his truck.
As Spring Lake firefighters put out the smoldering pile, Hagenow said he wasn’t sure what caused the fire.
Hagenow had just left Hoffmaster State Park and was on his way to North Ottawa Care Center when he noticed the smoke.
In Hagenow’s seven years of working for Republic Services, this was the first time he encountered something like what happened on Friday afternoon.
Hagenow reminded people to make sure they don’t throw away gasoline, oil or any items that are hot, and also reminded people to make sure cigarette butts are entirely out before placing them in the garbage.