Garbage Truck Driver Extinguishes Blaze Started by Cigarette

BROADVIEW HEIGHTS, Ohio—Aug. 8, 2013—A cigarette tossed carelessly from a car window could have spelled disaster for a couple traveling on U.S. Route 422 near Solon last week.

The cigarette landed in the bed of the couple’s pickup truck, where it ignited furniture. Rumpke driver Abdual Latif spotted the fire and waved them off the road just east of Ohio 91. Latif pulled two couches off the truck and used his fire extinguisher to put out the blaze.

“Abual is an outstanding employee who always looks out for others, whether he’s at work or in his personal time,” said Greg Beamer, regional operations manager for Rumpke. “We’re glad he was able to help these people before the fire spread to their vehicle.”

The U.S. Fire Administration cautions smokers that many preventable fires are caused by cigarettes that were not fully put out.

Latif was en route to Rumpke’s Broadview Heights facility after completing a residential trash collection route in Geauga County. He began working for Rumpke two years ago, and immigrated from Somalia in 1991. He and his wife Robin have 10 children.

Rumpke Consolidated Companies, Inc. has been committed to keeping neighborhoods and businesses clean and green since 1932 by providing environmentally friendly waste disposal solutions. With regional operations in Cleveland, Rumpke is one of the nation’s largest privately owned residential and commercial waste and recycling firms, providing service to areas of Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and West Virginia. Rumpke divisions include Rumpke Recycling, The William-Thomas Group and Rumpke Hydraulics. For more information, visit


Sara Cullin
(513) 741-2617

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