Pickup truck catches fire on U.S. 441 N.

OKEECHOBEE A vehicle fire was reported April 19.

According to a report by Okeechobee County Fire Rescue, at approximately 4:30 p.m. on April 19, firefighters responded to a reported vehicle fire in the vicinity of U.S. 441 North and Northeast 208th Street.

Upon arrival, units found a 2016 Ford F-350 Super Duty diesel pickup truck fully engulfed in flames on the west side of the U.S. 441. The truck on fire also reportedly had a dual axle trailer hooked to it as well.

Crews then extinguished the vehicle, trailer and grass in the surrounding area that caught fire utilizing a 1.5” jump line and approximately 1,000 gallons of water.

The vehicle owner and operator, Helver Zuniga, 50, Orlando, informed them that he drove south on U.S. 441 North when his vehicle all of a sudden cut off on him. He then proceeded to pull over onto the shoulder of the road. Mr. Zuniga then apparently tried to restart the vehicle and at this time reported seeing smoke start to come in the cab of the vehicle through the air conditioner vents and out from the engine compartment. Mr. Zuniga and his passengers then reportedly exited the vehicle without sustaining any injuries.

The fire destroyed some of Mr. Zuniga’s tools as well as damaged the wood on the front of the open dual axle trailer. The trailer was reportedly still able to be hauled as the tires and frame were unscathed by the inferno. The estimated property and contents financial loss was valued at a combined total of $53,000.

The report concluded that fire crews made contact with the State Fire Marshal while on scene. The F-350 and trailer were removed by John’s Towing Service. One tanker and one engine responded to the incident scene.

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