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Family of 3 escapes pickup fire

by The Western News
| July 20, 2010 11:42 AM

A family of three escaped with only minor burns after their pickup’s transmission ignited last Thursday while traveling south on Highway 2 toward Kalispell, a fire official said.

Fisher River Valley Fire and Rescue responded with the support of Cabinet View Fire Department.

“Fisher River Ambulance treated the daughter for minor burns,” said CVFD Chief Dan Leavell. “The couple was taken care of. The truck was totaled.”

The driver braked hard and pulled to the side of the road when the family noticed the vehicle heating up and smoke coming through the floorboards, Leavell said. Gas cans and other items fell out and lay beside the burning truck.

“There was stuff from the truck all over from when they slammed on the brakes and got to the side of the road,” Leavell said. “It could have been an awful lot worse. Luckily there was no eruption.”

The father ran to the nearest home, which was on Arabian Lane about 20 miles south of Libby, to call for help at 7:40 p.m. The first responders arrived 17 minutes later.

FRVFR arrived with an ambulance and engine, and CVFD provided an engine and a water tender, Leavell said. The highway was closed off while they extinguished the flames. 

The fire spread to a grassy hillside just off the road.

“If it had been a drier time of year or a drier time of day that grass fire would have gotten a lot worse,” Leavell said.

The flames were out within an hour, according to sheriff reports.