Driver escapes unscathed after truck catches fire

Driver escapes unscathed after truck catches fire

(Derek Petersen/KSL-TV)

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SALT LAKE CITY — The driver of a box truck escaped without injuries Wednesday when his vehicle burst into flames.

The man was driving on 5600 West near 1300 South about 12:30 p.m. when he saw what he thought was dust coming from the back of his truck, Salt Lake Fire Capt. Mark Hafen said. The man stopped to investigate only to open the truck and realize it was filled with smoke.

"He ran around the front of his truck to get an extinguisher and went back, but by the time he got back it was fully engulfed and he backed out," Hafen said.

The fire caused two tanks that the truck was carrying — one containing oxygen and the other containing acetylene — to combust, Hafen said.

Witness Devon Loch said he was yelling at the driver to back away, but he didn't hear him so he helped drag him away.

Fire crews arrived to find the truck ablaze with nearby grass catching fire on both sides of the road due to wind, Hafen said. Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the flames without incident or injury.

"The main concern there was making sure it didn't go any bigger than it did," Hafen said.

Loch said he thought the whole truck was going to explode and the wind pushed the fire to both sides of the road, igniting the weeds.

"It just happened so fast ... I'm just glad nobody got hurt because it just really really went quick."

Roads were closed in both directions at 5600 West for about two hours.

Contributing: Mark Wetzel, Megan Marsden Christensen


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