Driver’s quick response during truck fire prevents blaze from spreading to fuel tank

Window shatters from heat after Ford pickup truck catches fire on Red Hills Parkway Friday, St. George, Utah, Aug. 18, 2018 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Firefighters respond to a pickup truck fire that spread to the vehicle’s fuel tank Friday afternoon. The driver’s quick thinking and the Fire Department’s rapid response narrowly averted potential disaster.

At 3 p.m. emergency responders were dispatched to the vehicle fire on Red Hills Parkway involving a white Ford F-150 pickup truck that caught fire while hauling farming supplies and produce. The driver pulled into the parking lot directly across from East Waterworks Drive as the truck continued to burn.

Upon arrival firefighters found the inside of truck’s cab burning as it was beginning to spread out through the shattered rear window toward the back of the truck, St. George Fire Chief Robert Stoker said.

St. George Fire Department responds to pickup truck fire on Red Hills Parkway Friday, St. George, Utah, Aug. 18, 2018 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Firefighters extinguished the blaze within minutes after it burned through the truck’s fuel lines near the top of the fuel tank, preventing it from spreading any further.

“The fire appears to have started in between the back of the cab and the front of the bed, somewhere in the chassis area,” Stoker said.

The driver told responders she was heading east on Red Hills Parkway when she began to smell something burning inside of the truck and noticed smoke coming from behind her seat.

The woman pulled off of the roadway and into the parking lot where she stopped, turned off the engine, quickly got out of the truck and dialed 911.

The interior of the Ford was damaged by the fire, including the shattered rear window, upholstery and rear seat, while the damage to the outside was confined to the paint and fuel lines that were destroyed as the fire spread.

“She did the correct thing,” Stoker said. “She pulled over and turned off the engine, which stopped the flow of fuel going through the lines which was important here because the fire was burning near the top of the fuel tank.”

The truck was later towed from the scene.

“The cause is unknown,” Stoker said, “but it could have started from debris buildup in the exhaust area, an electrical short or it could have started in the bed of the truck that was loaded with produce, grain and other items needed for the family farm.”

No injuries were reported.

The National Fire Protection Association  provides the following fire safety tips for car fires:

  • Pull over as quickly as it is safe to do so.
  • Turn off the engine.
  • Make sure everyone is out of the car.
  • Never return to a burning car for anything.
  • Move everyone at least 100 feet from the burning car and well away from traffic.
  • Call 911.

This report is based on statements from police or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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  • comments August 19, 2017 at 12:27 am

    watermelon rinds, hmm.

    • DRT August 19, 2017 at 9:01 am

      For the hogs. Probably picked up at local restaurants. I see loads of produce from grocery stores as well. It’s actually a good deal. The stores have old produce that is no longer saleable, but the pigs don’t care.

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