Yuma Firefighters quickly extinguished a semi-truck which went up in flames Friday evening. The driver of the truck was able to get away from the fire, and was uninjured except for smoke inhalation.
The semi-truck, parked in a dirt lot southwest of the Jack in a Box restaurant at 151 W. 16th St., ignited shortly before 9 p.m.
When YFD personnel arrived on scene a few minutes later, the truck cabin and engine compartment had become fully engulfed, with flames reaching a height of 10 to 15 feet.
Loud popping sounds could be heard emanating from the fire as spectators watched the drama unfold from a nearby parking lot.
“That is the tires,” explained YFD Battalion Chief Joseph Waterford. “Tires will scare the heck out of you. The tires make that sound because it is the automatic release of the air. It's like popping a big balloon. It does startle you quite a bit.”
Not hesitating for a moment, even as the flames licked at the large diesel tanks on the bottom of the truck, the YFD crew rushed forward and began spraying the fire with water. It was doused soon thereafter.
“The fire was contained mostly to the cab area,” Waterford said.
Once the truck had been extinguished, firefighters opened the trailer to inspect the interior. As they opened the rear doors, a cloud of smoke rolled out, but no flames were found. The trailer contained a few pallets of vegetables.
The cause of the fire had not been determined as of press time Friday because investigators were still on scene.