Marion firefighters braved not just a burning trailer full of trash but also biting cold, acrid smoke, and stiff winds for an hour and a half Dec. 27 after a trailer full of trash caught fire inside the county transfer station.
The trailer was burning inside the transfer station when firefighters were summoned.
Hillsboro and Florence firefighters were summoned as well but were told to stand down after a Marion firefighter averted tragedy by finding the keys and driving the semi outside the building.
Cause of the fire remains undetermined, transfer station and recycling director Josh Housman said Tuesday.
Marion Fire Chief Chris Killough said numerous items that people throw in trash, including lithium batteries, could have sparked the fire.
The trailer, bought in 2021 and valued at $63,000, is possibly a total loss, Housman said.
“There was a lot of smoke there,” Housman said. “The back had flames coming out of it.”
Flames also were apparent out of the front of the trailer.
The transfer station building was not damaged, Housman said.
He said loss of the trailer left the transfer station down to three.
“We’ll keep chugging along like always,” he said.
Killough had an ambulance crew check firefighters on a precautionary basis.
“There was quite a bit of smoke and the nature of the smoke — it was burning trash,” he said.
Killough said he did not consider the fire suspicious.