Pickup truck fire engine catches fire

A pickup truck caught fire Wednesday, April 18.

According to a report by the City of Okeechobee Fire Department, at 3:39 p.m. on April 18, firefighters responded to The Brahman Theater parking lot on U.S. 441.

Units found a black 1997 Dodge 1500 pickup truck with the engine compartment on fire. Firefighter Steve Weeks reportedly placed Engine 9’s pump in gear, Captain Lalo Rodriguez and firefighters Jeremy Crews and Mitch Brydebell deployed the front 1 3/4” jump line and began to extinguish the fire.

Firefighter Crews utilized the extrication spreaders to open the hood after attempting to pull the hood release latch, which was burnt into the vehicle and would not release.

Approximately 250 gallons of water were used to completely extinguish the fire. Firefighter Weeks obtained consent to search form signatures from the parties involved.

Fire Chief Herb Smith was on scene and prior to the hose line deployment attempted to cool down the cab area with a water extinguisher in an effort to save any personal items. Chief Smith spoke with the OPD officer on scene who attempted to extinguish the fire and who also translated what transpired before the fire.
The owner of the vehicle Duran Ireneo, reportedly stated that he and his son had gotten into the truck and started the engine. The son apparently asked his dad if he could smell the smoke, to which he acknowledged the presence of as well. The man then turned the truck off, both exited and then noticed smoke near the dash and firewall areas.

The man then reportedly called 911 at that time to report the incident and informed that their was nothing unusual about the starting of the vehicle other than the smoke odor. The vehicle recently came from a mechanic shop for radiator issues the day before.

The report concluded that Chief Smith’s investigation of the fire considered it accidental. The origin of the fire involved the distribution equipment and fuel lines inside the engine compartment. The estimated property and contents financial loss was valued at a combined total of $53,000.

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