Truck ignites south of Craig |

Truck ignites south of Craig

Tyler Baskfield

A tractor-trailer truck carrying a load of new cars caught fire on its way to Meeker about 7 p.m. Monday. The truck stopped just south of the Trapper Mine entrance on Colorado Highway 13.

Roy Mason, Craig Fire/Rescue chief, was the first to respond to the scene after the driver of the truck called in the incident.

According to Mason, the right rear axle caught fire. Mason speculated either the axle lost a bearing or a tire blew, causing enough friction to ignite the fire.

Three of the new cars were damaged by flames that reached the top of the trailer. The driver of the truck believes the three new cars were totaled by the fire. An engine and a tanker from Craig Fire/Rescue responded and extinguished the fire with foam. According to Mason, the call had some tense moments.

“It had the potential to get ugly if one of the gas tanks went up,” said Mason. “Fortunately, the only thing that exploded was one of the tires. It wasn’t a threat, but it got everyone’s attention.”

Moffat County Sheriff’s Department deputies also responded to the call to help with traffic control.

Mason credits firefighters who responded to the incident for handling the strange call in a way that kept the damage and hassle to a minimum.

“It’s one of those deals where you don’t have that happen very often,” said Mason. “Thank goodness that the hydraulics weren’t damaged or else we would of had a tough time removing the cars.”