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Firefighters remove remains of 500-ton trash fire in El Cajon

December 8, 2012 | 11:09 am

Trash

Firefighters early Saturday finished removing the smoldering remains of a 500-ton trash fire at a refuse transfer station Friday night in El Cajon, east of San Diego.

Firefighters equipped with masks and breathing apparatus used skip-loaders to scoop up the smoky rubbish and put it into large trash bins, according to the Heartland Fire & Rescue Department, the lead agency fighting the fire at an indoor Waste Management Co. facility where trash is dumped before being reloaded into trucks and taken to a landfill.

The fire was reported at 6 p.m., and drew firefighters from Heartland, the Santee, Lakeside and San Diego fire departments and the San Miguel Fire Protection District.

The cause of the two-alarm fire is unknown. None of the dozens of firefighters was injured.

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-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: A skip loader operated by Heartland Fire & Rescue Department firefighter Bill Thorn scoops up debris at El Cajon trash fire. Credit: City of El Cajon 

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