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Penticton  

Truck torched on highway

Volunteer firefighters in Kaleden rushed out of bed early Tuesday morning to fight a resilient truck fire.

Crews were called to Highway 3A, about three kilometres south of Highway 97 at about 6:40 a.m.

Kaleden Fire Chief Darlene Bailey said the Dodge Ram was fully engulfed by the time they arrived, “every part of it, cab engine compartment, everything - it was just one big ball of fire.”

Firefighters were challenged by magnesium burning somewhere between the dash and transmission, “when water hits it it explodes like fireworks,” Bailey said noting crews were forced to back off multiple times as the fire flared up.

“It was challenging, it was on the highway, on a curve and sloped so a lot of our water was running across lanes of traffic and freezing solid,” Bailey said. Argo Maintenance was called out to lay down sand on the developing ice.

She said the higher elevation and frigid temperatures also caused hoses to freeze up if water stopped flowing through them.

The owner of the truck was nowhere to be seen when firefighters arrived and police are investigating, “the RCMP got the plate off it, and we know no more than that,” Bailey said.

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