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MEMPHIS, Tenn. –Piece by piece, a Hazmat team cleared away the mountains of smoldering trash that just moments earlier was burning in the back of a garbage truck.

“This is something that rarely happens.”

The truck was driving near Highway 64 and Champions when the driver noticed a big blaze in the back.

“Some chemicals mixed up in the trash compactor and it caught on fire. Was really flammable,” said Deshaun Thomas who was on the crew cleaning up the mess.

Trash in general smells bad enough, so imagine the stench when you add heat and some flames.

“The heat did play a factor, but it was also the chemicals as well..”

Once Thomas arrived on the scene, he said it was a race against the clock.

“What we had to do was make the fastest possible decision,” he said.

That meant dumping all of the burning trash by the side of the road and calling firefighters to put it out.

“We was able to fastly put everything out.”

With the fire under control, Thomas and his team spent the rest of the day loading the garbage into dumpsters and washing off the highway.

“We`re gonna do a nice sweep up and then we`re gonna pressure wash it off ourselves.”

Investigators said they don’t have a cause for the fire.

No one was hurt and the trash was completely cleaned up by crews.