By CBS3 Staff


MANTUA, N.J. (CBS) — Gloucester County residents were rattled right out of their sleep as trash trucks went up in flames. The fire broke out just after 3 a.m. Saturday at the Mantua Public Works Building.

A patrolman nearby said he heard a loud explosion before finding the trash trucks engulfed in flames. Cell phone video Eyewitness News obtained shows four Mantua Township garbage trucks engulfed in flames.

“There were heavy winds coming toward the north, and that’s why it consumed all five trucks at once,” said Chief Brian Hauss from the Mantua Fire Department.

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Four of the towns nine trucks are now charred beyond repair, officials believe the fire may have been caused by a mechanical issue.

They also say there may be some delays since half of the towns fleet is now gone.

“It could run into Saturday and Sunday pickup,” said Steven Alexander with Public Works.

That is until they are able to find trucks to rent while they purchase new ones, which will cost more that $1 million.

The fire also swept through a nearby car and pickup truck, which will be covered by insurance.

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Meanwhile, there is another concern, authorities say about 350 gallons of hydraulic fluid went into a basin at the north side of the property.

“We have an environmental contractor coming out to mitigate the issue,” said Alexander.

In the meantime, a message to residents.

“Understand at this time we are doing the best we can,” said Alexander.

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