Lawsuit Filed in Deadly Sandalwood Fire That Was Sparked by Trash Truck in Calimesa

The spot where a garbage truck dumped a burning load, sparking the Sandalwood Fire that destroyed several residences in Calimesa on Oct. 10, 2019. (Credit: KTLA)

The spot where a garbage truck dumped a burning load, sparking the Sandalwood Fire that destroyed several residences in Calimesa on Oct. 10, 2019. (Credit: KTLA)

A lawsuit has been filed against a waste hauler whose truck driver dumped burning refuse by a Southern California road, sparking a fire that killed two people and destroyed scores of homes.

Lawyers for homeowners say a civil suit was filed in Riverside on Tuesday alleging CR&R Inc. placed business interests ahead of public safety.

The fire was sparked Oct. 10 when the driver dumped the burning trash in the community of Calimesa. The fire quickly spread to the nearby mobile home community.

The suit says a passer-by pleaded with the driver not to unload the trash amid high winds.

Waste industry experts have said drivers are trained to find a safe place to unload burning trash in a truck fire.

A message was sent to CR&R seeking comment.

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