Units respond to truck fire, propane tank explodes

Published 6:00 pm Sunday, June 10, 2018

A Tennessee man escaped injury Saturday when his pickup caught fire while he was repairing the camper trailer it was towing.

The fire was reported about 6 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot of Beechwood Elementary School on Mississippi 27. Two trucks from the Culkin Volunteer Fire Department responded to the fire call.

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Warren County Fire Coordinator Jerry Briggs said William Watts of Columbia, Tennessee, told authorities he was traveling through the county when he started having trouble with the tongue of the trailer.

He pulled into the school parking lot and went to go get some welding equipment to repair the problem.

As he was working on the camper trailer, Watts said, he noticed fire coming from the back of the truck. Smoke from the fire could be seen from the intersection of U.S. 80 and Mississippi 27.

Briggs, who was the first to arrive at the fire, said the rear of the Ford F-250 pickup was fully involved and had damaged the vehicle’s rear tires.

“There was a 5-gallon propane tank on the ground next to the truck that went off,” he said. “We let the propane burn off and then extinguished the rest of the fire.”

The cause of the fire was undetermined, but Briggs said it is possible hot exhaust from a generator in the truck bed Watts was using to weld the trailer’s tongue may have ignited something in the back of the truck. The trailer was not damaged.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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