Garbage Truck Fire Closes All Lanes of Route 78 East Near Exit 33

At approximately 6:30 am on March 9, 2015, the Liberty Corner Fire Company was dispatched to a working truck fire on Route 78 East just west of Exit 33.  .  Upon arrival, Chief Peter Aprahamian established command and confirmed a working garbage truck fire.  Chief Aprahamian requested water tenders from the Far-Hills Bedminster Fire Department, the Bernardsville Fire Company, and the Warren Township Fire Department.  Upon arrival, the New Jersey State Police (NJSP) closed all lanes of Route 78 East.  Closure of the highway kept the public safe and allowed fire crews to operate safely and efficiently.

The first due Liberty Corner engine stretched hand lines extinguished the fire in the cab area.  After exhausting the 500 gallons of water from the engine, crews established a water supply from the Far-Hills Bedminster 3,500 gallon tender.  Fire spread to the garbage compactor area of the truck and crews worked to extinguish the fire inside the compactor area.  Water from fire suppression covered the highway and quickly turned to ice.  New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) crews were dispatched for a salt truck to treat the highway.  The far left lane of the highway was opened once it was treated with salt.  Fire crews worked quickly to clear the highway and the NJDOT treated the remaining lanes of the highway.  The NJSP re-opened the highway once all lanes were treated with salt.

The driver of the garbage truck escaped unharmed.  There were no reported injuries to first responders.

Special thanks to all those agencies that assisted us – Far-Hills Bedminster Fire Chief Eric Murphy assigned Water Supply Officer, the Far-Hills Bedminster Fire Department, the Bernardsville Fire Company, the Warren Township Fire Department, Bernards Township Police Department, New Jersey State Police, and the Somerset County 911 Communications Center.


Peter Aprahamian


Liberty Corner Fire Company