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HBF reminds folks to keep trash bins secured after string of Old Town dumpster fires

Humboldt Bay Fire firefighters responded to a string of dumpster fires in Old Town Eureka Thursday morning, and want to remind the public to keep trash bins secured.

At around 2:30 a.m. on Dec. 6 HBF was dispatched to investigate the smell of smoke in a building in the area of Fourth and I Streets. Fire personnel were unable to find a source of smoke, but a short while later the same truck was dispatched to a dumpster fire a few blocks away.

While they were putting out that fire, crews found another dumpster on fire. About two hours later, the same truck was again dispatched to a third dumpster fire a few blocks away from the earlier fires, according to HBF. The fire was extinguished and personnel searched several blocks for any sign of additional fires. There was minor cosmetic damage to the buildings the dumpsters were next to, HBF reported.

Each time a dumpster burns it costs waste management services approximately $500 dollars to remove, repair, and replace the damaged dumpsters, according to HBF.

"Although the damage to the adjacent structures was cosmetic, there will be repair costs to those as well," the department said in a press release.

This year Humboldt Bay Fire has responded to 61 dumpster or refuse fires, according to the department.

"Many of the dumpsters that burned were found to either be unsecured or overflowing with combustibles such as cardboard or paper," HBF said. "Humboldt Bay Fire wants to encourage people to secure their dumpsters or to have them picked up more frequently if they are overflowing."

If anyone has information about these dumpster fires, please contact HBF at 707-441-4000.

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