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Pickup catches fire on I-8 near Wellton
For the second time in as many months, Wellton firefighters extinguished a truck fire along Interstate 8 on Thursday afternoon.
According to Fire Inspector David Rodriguez, of the Wellton Fire Department, at about 3:24 p.m., firefighters were dispatched to the vicinity of milepost 26 in reference to a vehicle on fire.
Rodriguez said firefighters from the first engine company on scene found a 1993 Ford F-250 pickup fully engulfed in flames.
Rodriguez said firefighters had the fire out within minutes and that the driver was able to get out of the vehicle safely.
According to Rodriguez, the driver said he had delivered a load of water to the solar plant in Dateland and was on his way back into Yuma.
Rodriguez said the driver told him that his pickup was running out of gas, so he decided to switch fuel tanks.
“Something went wrong when he did that,” Rodriguez said. “That's when he noticed some smoke and flames coming from underneath his truck in the sideview mirrors.”
Rodriguez said the driver pulled over to the side of the interstate and tried to put out the fire with a fire extinguisher but was unable to do so.
Both westbound lanes of Interstate 8 were closed for about 20 minutes as firefighters put out the fire. Rodriguez said the cause is still being investigated. He added that the origin of the fire appeared to be underneath the driver's seat.
Other agencies that responded were the Wellton Police Department, Tri-Valley Ambulance, the Department of Public Safety and the Yuma Sector Border Patrol.
James Gilbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6854. Find him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/YSJamesGilbert or on Twitter @YSJamesGilbert.