CNG trash truck fires, explosions lead to N.J. safety course

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Updated Feb 1, 2017

Following recent compressed natural gas trash truck fires in New Jersey, which shut down traffic and damaged nearby businesses, a county there will now be offering courses on how to safely handle the fuel.

The Morris County Public Safety Training Academy reached out to CNG industry professionals for help in creating a course for firefighters and other first responders. Two trash truck companies whose CNG-equipped trucks recently caught fire in the county will be assisting in the course, according to

Last week, a CNG trash truck caught fire in Madison, N.J. and shut-down traffic during morning rush hour. The fire destroyed the truck and caused a power outage after burning a power line.  No injuries were reported. The cause of the blaze is still under investigation.

On Dec. 28, a refuse truck in Mendham, N.J. caught fire and exploded at a shopping center. Four nearby businesses were severely damaged by the blast. No one was injured.

That fire was caused by a ruptured hydraulic line near the truck’s exhaust system. A CNG fuel line ignited from the heat and shot out flames onto nearby buildings.

Last January, a CNG truck fire in New Jersey was recorded just moments before the truck exploded. The video is shown below.

The Solid Waste Association of North America reports that more than half of new sanitation trucks on the road are now fueled by natural gas.

The Natural Gas Vehicle Institute offers training and safety courses for dealing with vehicles that run on CNG. For more information visit 

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that the Hamilton, N.J. truck fire took place in January of this year. We regret the error.