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Lithium battery sparks fire at landfill

Posted 10/31/18 (Wed)

By Betsy Ryan
Farmer Staff Writer

McKenzie County Landfill workers, along with the Arnegard Fire Department battled a blaze at the McKenzie County Landfill for nearly an hour and a half on Oct. 19, that was caused by something burning deep in buried trash.
The culprit of the fire was a lithium battery that hadn’t been properly disposed of and ended up being buried among other trash at the landfill.
According to Rick Schreiber, McKenzie County Landfill director, he believes the fire started around 11 p.m. on Oct. 18, and by the time that he arrived at work at 5 a.m., the whole slope at the landfill was on fire.
“I checked the cameras to survey the landfill as I usually do first thing and saw the fire,” Schreiber said. “I immediately ran out and jumped in a bulldozer to try to put it out.”
Schreiber, who is also a volunteer fire fighter in Arnegard, said that as soon as he turned the burning trash over, flames engulfed the bulldozer.
As he pushed the burning trash onto the deck, Arnegard’s fire crew met Schreiber and began working to put out the fire. After about an hour and a half of work, the fire was extinguished.

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