Aftermarket wiring possible cause of truck fire at Sunbrook construction site

Firefighters extinguish truck fire reported at a construction site, St. George, Utah, Aug. 7, 2018 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Firefighters responded to a vehicle fire reported Tuesday morning in a construction site located in a luxury housing community off Dixie Drive.

Shortly before 7 a.m., firefighters were dispatched to a vehicle fire at 2800 Versailles Court involving a Dodge pickup truck that was burning at a construction site on the corner of Emeraud Drive in the Sunbrook Housing Community.

Firefighters respond to truck fire at a construction site, St. George, Utah, Aug. 7, 2018 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

The fire was initially reported as flames coming from the front of the truck, but when firefighters arrived within minutes of being dispatched, they found the truck fully engulfed in flames, St. George Fire Battalion Chief Ken Guard said. They were able to extinguish the fire quickly with the engine and crew that were first to arrive.

“The truck’s owner told us he parked his truck and went into the building,” Guard said, “and when he came back out a few minutes later he saw smoke coming from the engine compartment and called 911.”

Firefighters and police officers respond to truck fire reported at a construction site, St. George, Utah, Aug. 7, 2018 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Guard said the cause of the fire is undetermined, but it appears to have likely started behind the dash where the stereo was located.

While investigating the fire’s origin they discovered a great deal of  aftermarket wiring that burned directly behind the stereo.

“There’s a lot of damage right there in the middle where the dash is at, so it could have been some type of issue in the wiring, and while we think the cause is electrical in nature it is still undetermined right now,” Guard said.

Additionally, the owner lives locally and did not have a long commute, so the engine overheating or other similar mechanical issues were ruled out.

Once the blaze ignited it spread in both directions from the dashboard, and shot forward into the engine compartment as well as back towards the rear of the pickup and burned through the man’s work tools and other materials that were stored in the enclosed bed of the truck.

The fire was contained to the truck area only. Two fire engines were initially dispatched to the fire when it was reported that the truck was “very close to the home these guys are building,” Guard said,  but once they arrived, they found that the truck was parked at least 30 feet from any structures on the construction site and even farther away from any other homes in the neighborhood.

The pickup was destroyed by the fire, but no other exposure damage was reported and no one was injured during the incident.

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


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