ARIZONA STRIP – UPDATED at 7:20 p.m. – Sunday around 4:05 p.m. a vehicle fire slowed traffic to a crawl on northbound Interstate 15 near Arizona mile post 26 for a little over an hour. The driver and three passengers – all from Colorado – were able to pull off the freeway and escape uninjured before the vehicle became fully engulfed in flames.
The fire started while a Dodge pickup was traveling northbound in the Virgin River Gorge. The passengers in a Dodge pickup noticed flames coming from the rear of the truck, Arizona Highway Patrol Officer Thomas McAllister said. They pulled off on the shoulder and evacuated the pickup before it became fully engulfed.
Fire crews from the St. George Fire Department and the Beaver Dam Arizona Fire Department responded. The fire triggered several explosions in the pickup. At least one of the explosions was a tire. These explosions started several small brush fires adjacent to the freeway that were quickly extinguished, McAllister said.
The vehicle was completely destroyed and was towed from the scene at approximately 5:15 p.m. By 5:25 p.m. the highway was clear, and traffic was flowing.
From what he witnessed, McAllister said he speculated that the fire was caused by a gas leak.
St. George News Reporter Kimberly Scott contributed to this story.
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