The driver of a pickup truck that caught on fire Friday afternoon was taken to the hospital with minor burns, and emergency workers were not injured when fuel vapors ignited after the fire was first extinguished, authorities said.
The 62-year-old man tried to open the hood of the blue Ford Ranger and put out the fire with a fire extinguisher, said Oak Ridge Fire Department Battalion Chief Eric Rackard. The man, who was not identified, received minor burns on both hands.
The cause of the fire at Diversicare of Oak Ridge, on Elmhurst Drive near Hank’s Market on Emory Valley Road, was unknown.
But a fuel line on the engine ruptured, and gasoline vapors ignited while emergency workers tried to plug the line.
“Anytime you see that, you worry,” Rackard said.
Firefighters and Oak Ridge Police Department Officer Christopher Wallace had asked workers at Diversicare to move back from the pickup truck as emergency workers tried to stop the gas leak.
None of the emergency crew, which included three firefighters, was injured when the gas vapors ignited in a fireball.
Firefighters used a water-based foam to smother and control the mid-afternoon fire, Rackard said. The gas burned away, and firefighters were able to stop the gas leak.
The truck is probably totaled, Rackard said.
The Oak Ridge Fire Department discourages people from trying to put out vehicle fires themselves and instead encourages you to call 911.
It was the second fire that crews responded to on Friday. The earlier fire was in a open shed on Marietta Circle in the Woodland neighborhood. In that case, a man who had been mowing put his mower in the shed, where it was reported to have started a fire that burned the shed enough that it was considered destroyed.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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