Fire sparked by disposable barbecue destroys Worthing council litter truck – costing £30k in damages

A disposable barbecue has sparked a fire which destroyed a Worthing Borough Council litter truck.

Thursday, 1st April 2021, 1:49 pm
The burnt out vehicle
The burnt out vehicle

Rubbish was being collected at Goring Greensward in Worthing today after many residents spent the day yesterday enjoying the warm weather on the common.

The disposable barbecue, which had not been extinguished or cooled down properly before being left by a bin, caught fire while it was on the truck, the council said.

Firefighters were called to put out the blaze but they were unable to stop it destroying the vehicle.

It will now cost the council nearly £30,000 to replace, a spokesman confirmed.

As the Easter weekend approaches, the council is reminding those who use disposable barbecues to do so responsibly and dispose of them correctly.

A spokesman said: “We are pleased that people are enjoying our open spaces after what has been a long lockdown but ask that they do so responsibly.

“This example serves as a clear reminder of what damage can be caused when those enjoying a barbecue do not take a few seconds to extinguish them properly with water.

“Please don’t put them in or beside the bin until they have completely cooled down.

“When warm coals come into contact with dry materials such as card, along with fresh air, they have enough heat to ignite the waste in the vehicle.

“Luckily, no one was injured. But the vehicle has been destroyed and now has to be replaced at cost to the local taxpayer.

“It will also have an impact on the level of service we can provide when clearing litter in the coming weeks.”