WATERVILLE — A tractor-trailer picking up pallets of cardboard and plastic to bring to a Bangor recycling facility caught fire behind Walmart Saturday morning.

Bundles of recycled cardboard burn Saturday behind Walmart in Waterville as firefighters work to extinguish it. Morning Sentinel photo by Michael G. Seamans

Max Walton, a truck driver for Lynch Logisitcs, said he had been smelling burning trash and leaves but wasn’t paying much attention to it when he noticed smoke rising from the front of the trailer around 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

“I said, ‘Oh, that’s fire,’ and I grabbed the forklift,” Walton said. “That’s when it erupted into a flame.”

He said he tried to extinguish the pallet that was on fire with a fire extinguisher but called 911 when he didn’t have any luck.

“I really don’t know (how it started),” Walton said. “It’s possible something could have been in there, an ember of some sort.”

Firefighters from the Waterville Fire Department were working to extinguish several large piles of cardboard behind the store for at least 30 minutes after the fire was reported.

Captain Eion Pelletier said the cause of the fire remains under investigation. No injuries were reported.

Ragan Dickens, a spokesman for Walmart, said damage from the fire was minimal.

“We’re always appreciative to the fire department for their assistance,” he said. “We’re glad they got it under control.”

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