Two trucks parked at Foothills Sanitation & Recycling Inc. at 489 Boone Trail, North Wilkesboro, were destroyed by fire Sunday, said North Wilkesboro Fire Chief Jimmy Martin.
Martin said North Wilkesboro firefighters found the two trucks fully engulfed in flames when they arrived on the scene after being dispatched about 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The trucks were parked beside each other.
Martin said one was a box truck rented from another company used for collecting recyclables and the other a trash collection truck owned by Foothills. He said the Foothills operations manager stated that the box truck was parked where it was found burning after it was used Friday to pick up cardboard at nearby Wilkes Medical Center.
The fire produced a large plume of dark smoke visible from a wide area and caused tires on the trucks to explode, he said.
He said the cause of the fire hasn’t been determined but that the box truck appeared to have caught fire first. Martin said the operations manager told him Foothills had insurance coverage on the garbage truck. Only the two trucks were damaged.
Martin said Det. Tim Pardue, a fire investigator with the Wilkes Sheriff’s Office, responded at his request to assist with the investigation. Pardue concurred with Martin about the box truck burning first and said it appeared to have started in the cab or the engine of that vehicle.
Martin said the gate on the entrance drive to Foothills was locked and had to be forced open.
The Cricket and Millers Creek fire departments assisted North Wilkesboro at the fire scene. Firefighters were there until about 5:40 p.m.
The Broadway Fire Department went to the North Wilkesboro Fire Station to cover the rest of town while North Wilkesboro firefighters were at Foothills. Broadway firefighters responded to a fire alarm call on Boston Avenue, but no fire was found.