It had to be a bad day for someone. A white pickup truck caught fire just south of Twin Mountain Fence on US67 Thursday at 4:40 pm.  The Tom Green Sheriff's Department reports that the driver observed smoke under the hood and pulled to the shoulder.

Fortunately, the driver was able to escape the vehicle. A witness told the local press that the truck appeared to be a Ford F-150 Platinum pickup. Whatever make or model it was, it looks like a total loss. There doesn't appear to be anything left that resembles a truck, except the bed.

Burning Car

This model of truck is not one of the SUVs recalled by Ford for a possible fire risk because of heating and cooling fan motor issues in September.  It wasn't covered by the most recent recall which was causing engine fires, because of possible cracked fuel injectors. There have been other recalls from Dodge and Hyundai also, this year for conditions that can cause engine fires.

Firefighter in truck

With this rash of recalls and with the countless other reasons fires can break out in vehicles while on the highway, it might be a good time to review what to do if a fire breaks out in your vehicle.

According to the Texas Department of Insurance, it is important to pull over as quickly as you can safely do so.  The driver on US 67 did precisely the right thing when he pulled over to the shoulder.

You should also turn off the engine.

Get everyone out of the car and stay at least 100 feet away. Do not return if you suddenly realize your mobile phone is in the vehicle.

Don't open the hood. It could make the fire flare.

Call 9-1-1

When it comes to vehicle fires, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you're has been recalled due to a potentially flammable mechanical failure, immediately get the recalled issue repaired. Also, check for damaged or loose wiring. Seek professional service if the same fuse keeps blowing.

Photo by Anton Mishin on Unsplash
Photo by Anton Mishin on Unsplash

Take note of rapid changes in fuel level, oil levels, or engine temperature. Clean up spilled oil. If you have a missing oil cap replace it immediately.

Above all, use your nose. If something doesn't smell right when you're driving, then something may be getting hot.

Photo by Marek Szturc on Unsplash
Photo by Marek Szturc on Unsplash

Aside from this burned-out shell of a truck, the most recent fire this past week on US 67 caused no injuries. Vehicle fires don't always end so well. According to recent findings, there were an estimated 212,500 vehicle fires in 2018 in the US. These fires caused 560 deaths, 1500 injuries, and 1.9 billion in direct property damage.

If Jake from State Farm looks a little bit tired in his next commercial, you'll know why.

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