Fire in garbage truck 4 days after earlier blaze

Warwick officials said one of the three garbage trucks destroyed in a weekend fire in the public works yard was engulfed in flames again, and they say an electrical cause is suspected in both blazes.

Public Works Director David Picozzi said the second fire happened early Thursday and was put out quickly by the fire department.

"I was quite surprised at 5:30 in the morning when I received a call from (the fire department) that our trucks were on fire again. I almost thought they were kidding but obviously they weren't," Picozzi said.

Mayor Scott Avedisian said nothing had been removed because authorities were still conducting their investigation.

The first fire happened Saturday and badly damaged several vehicles, including three garbage trucks.

Warwick police said Thursday that evidence collected from the truck shows an electrical problem was the cause of both fires.

"We didn't see anything on surveillance video Saturday that revealed foul play. Today we had the fortune of having DPW employees on scene early. Clearly on the video you can see them leaving the DPW site with no indication of problems and a short time later on that video, we do see a fire begin to smolder," said Capt. Robert Nelson of the Warwick Police Department.

Picozzi said because the cause has been identified, they can now fix the problem.

"We're going over the electrical systems one by one just to make sure we don't see anything may be rubbing, may be shorting out. They're just going over them to check them out," he said.

It's more work for city mechanics who are constantly completing routine maintenance to keep trucks working every day. But Picozzi said it's necessary.

"We have to replace the three because, right now, if one goes down, we'll have a problem picking up the trash," he said.

Avedisian said the fires caused about $1 million in damage, which will be taken care of by the city's insurance company.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.