A dozen firefighters were evaluated for possible injuries and a fire engine was badly damaged when a burning garbage truck blew up in Temecula on Monday morning, Aug. 16, the Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department said.
The firefighters were taken to three hospitals.
“Their ears were ringing” but there were no obvious injuries, said Capt. Richard Cordova, a Cal Fire spokesman.
One civilian was hospitalized with a minor injury, Cal Fire said.
Firefighters were at Butterfield Stage and Rancho California roads just after 10:30 a.m. attempting to extinguish a fire in the trash compartment of a CR&R truck when, without warning, the liquid propane tank that powers the vehicle exploded, Cordova said.
Usually, such a tank will leak before it explodes but not in this case, he said.
The force of the blast ripped a portion of the hose bed off of the top of a fire engine and caused minor damage to another, Cordova said.
The propane tank flew 100 to 200 feet and smashed into a yellow van belonging to OnTime Home Services, a Temecula heating, ventilation and air-conditioning business.
An OnTime employee was hospitalized, according to an employee who answered the phone.