Firefighters put out a fire Monday morning that began in the cab of a box truck loaded with insulation.
Union Fire Protection District Chief Russ Hamilton said a crew at Hall Brothers Lumber was insulating an attic about 8:10 a.m. of a building at Mulberry and Locust streets when employees noticed smoke in the cab of the truck.
“They opened the door and the fire took off and became engulfed in flames,” said Hamilton. “It possibly began in the engine compartment.”
According to Hamilton, as a precaution, firefighters sprayed water on the building that was just feet from the burning truck.
“The first thing we did was got water on the building so there was no extension to the building,” he said, “and then started knocking down the fire on the truck.”
The truck and cab were destroyed, he added.
Hamilton said there was a metal component in the cab, possibly aluminum or magnesium, that sparked when it reacted with water.
“Once that starts burning, it reacts with water and gets popping and sparking,” he said. We got those components cooled down to a point they were not flaming anymore.”
About 10 minutes prior to the truck fire, Union firefighters were dispatched to Central Elementary for a fire alarm sounding. The school is several hundred feet from the scene of the truck fire.
“Our guys were at the elementary school and a ladder truck had just pulled up,” said Hamilton. “Our firefighters were in close proximity.”
The St. Clair Fire Protection District provided mutual aid to the scene.
In July, there was a blaze at the building, at 202 E. Locust St., where the insulation was being installed. The building housed Crossroads Counseling Services. The electrical fire began in the exterior of the building.