Worker stuck in the bucket of a utility truck escapes fire

Utility truck caught on fire, stranding worker in bucket as boom was inoperable. 900 South near River Road, St. George, Utah, April 12, 2013 | Photo by Chris Caldwell, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – A utility vehicle caught on fire today in St. George, stranding a worker tending to fiber optic lines high in a bucket on a boon.

St. George Fire Department, with its hook and ladder truck, responded to the incident in the area of 900 South and River Road.

Fire Chief Robert Stoker said that the utility worker was up on the boom of his bucket truck working on fiber optic lines, spatted lower than the power lines, when the vehicle fire broke out.

“The truck appears to have run out of gas,” Stoker said, “and it has an automatic switch-over valve for the fuel system and he said the truck tried to restart itself at which time the engine compartment started smoking.”

The truck did catch on fire apparently from mechanical or electrical causes within the vehicle, Stoker said, and the worker was stuck in the bucket. Since the burning truck involved the engine compartment and the cavity of the interior, it stalled and its hydraulics were inoperable so that the worker was unable to lower himself by the boom.

“He was able to slide down the boon on the truck and escape that way and get back to ground level,” Stoker said.

The worker was uninjured in the fire but the truck was a total loss.

“All in all a very good outcome,” Stoker said, “to what could’ve been a very tragic situation.”

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery. 

CORRECTION: Boon corrected to boom.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.


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  • JR McRay April 12, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Boon? or Boom?

  • Tyler April 12, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Wow, very lucky! and great pics btw

  • My Evil Twin April 12, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Hey Mori, I think you mean “boom” not “boon.” Dagnab spell check got ya again, huh? 😉

    I’ll bet that worker had some interesting thoughts when he discovered his predicament! Glad he was able to get down OK. Could have been a “heart warming” experience. . .

  • dick tracy April 12, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    Can we say emergency ladder

    • Old Man April 12, 2013 at 7:34 pm

      MAYDAY, MAYDAY-bailout, bailout, bailout!

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