Flames shot up from the dash of a pickup truck waiting in the construction lineup on Island Highway Tuesday morning.
Rob Hayes was at the wheel of the one-ton Chevrolet truck when black smoke began to fill the passenger cab. He jumped out and moments later, fire broke out.
“It was an electrical fire behind the dash,” Hayes said.
Safely outside of the vehicle, Hayes phoned 9-1-1 from his cell phone at about 11:45 a.m. He was parked at the south end of the construction, near Shoreline Drive. Vehicles lined up around the truck were able to move a safe distance away.
View Royal firefighters arrived quickly with two trucks and eight firefighters from their station at the other end of the construction zone.
“The flaggers hear our radio calls, so they know when traffic needs to be stopped to get fire trucks through,” said fire Chief Paul Hurst.
There was fear that the diesel pickup could explode, but firefighters knocked down the flames before they reached the fuel tank.
Hayes, a stone mason for Koi Dragon Custom Landscaping, was driving the company truck to pick up a load of gravel.
“We’re obviously going to need a new truck,” he said, looking over the damage before the vehicle was towed from the scene. The steering wheel was melted and covers burnt off the seats.
Northbound traffic was blocked for nearly an hour as a result of the fire.