Quick-Thinking Propane Truck Driver Prevents Potential Disaster in Salem Fire

In a commendable display of quick thinking and courage, the driver of a propane truck averted a potentially catastrophic situation when the vehicle caught fire in Salem. Local firefighters are lauding the driver’s actions for preventing a disaster.

The alarm was raised when Centre Wellington Fire Services received a distress call regarding a propane truck fire just before 5 p.m. on Thursday, September 14.

Firefighters from the Elora station rushed to the scene, bracing themselves for a potentially chaotic situation. However, upon arrival, they were surprised to find that the truck driver had taken swift action, using a portable fire extinguisher to combat the flames. Deputy Chief Jonathan Karn explained, “He was able to extinguish some of it.”

Thanks to the driver’s immediate response, the fire department could intervene and completely extinguish the fire before it reached the propane tank, averting a potentially catastrophic outcome.

Deputy Chief Karn remarked, “It certainly sounded like it would be much more (fire) when dispatched. I think the driver’s actions held the fire back.”

The fire was located in the rear axle tire area of the truck, and preliminary investigations suggest that a mechanical issue was likely the cause. Karn mentioned, “It could be overheated brakes. We don’t know for sure.”

It’s important to note that the truck was fully loaded with propane and had the fire reached the tank, it could have posed significant dangers. Karn emphasized, “We would have had to evacuate the area. We were all very fortunate.”

To ensure safety and manage the situation, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) temporarily closed the intersection of Wellington Roads 7 and 18 for approximately an hour. This allowed the fire department to clear the scene and arrange for the safe removal of the truck.

This incident serves as a reminder of the critical role of quick thinking and prompt action in preventing disasters. The heroic efforts of the propane truck driver, combined with the coordinated response of local firefighters and law enforcement, effectively averted a potentially catastrophic event in Salem.

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