‘I’m still full of fear’: Driver escapes Malahat truck fire uninjured

'I'm still full of fear': Driver escapes Malahat truck fire uninjured
WatchTraffic came to a halt on the Malahat after a truck burst into flames. The driver narrowly escaped by jumping out of his truck, moments before it was consumed by the fire. Jasmine Bala reports

A driver narrowly escaped danger after his truck caught fire on the Malahat Highway Tuesday morning.

Traffic was stopped in southbound lanes near the site of the fire for more than an hour as firefighters fought the blaze.

The flames caught Ryan Burns, the truck driver, by surprise, but he was able to escape unharmed.

“It happened fast,” said Burns. “It was within a kilometre. I smelled the smoke and the truck fully engulfed within a kilometre.”

He was just past the Shawnigan Lake turn when he first began to smell smoke. Realizing something was wrong, he looked for a place to pull over. And that’s when he saw it.

“I was looking out into my mirror, into the fisheye mirror, and I could see the battery box on fire,” Burns said.

The fire was spreading quickly and he knew he needed to act fast.

“I was thinking about climbing out the driver’s door,” he said. “I opened the door and there were flames there.”

Burns noticed the plastic door insert starting to melt onto the ground and made a quick decision — he’d go out the passenger door instead.

“I’m still full of fear,” Burns said, standing on the side of the road.

Malahat Volunteer Fire Department arrived on scene around 10 a.m. and called in assistance from Shawnigan Lake Volunteer Fire Department.

“Upon arriving there were probably 15- to 20-foot flames coming out of the top of the cab; thick black smoke,” said firefighter Kevin Philp. “First priority was just to get water on it and start to knock it down, prevent any exposure.”

The left southbound lane was reopened to traffic just after 11 a.m., according to Drive BC.

The incident happened in a southbound lane at Okotoks Road and no detour was available during the closure.

Photos and videos showed large flames shooting from the cab of the truck that is owned by Nickel Brothers.

The fire appeared to be extinguished just before 11 a.m.

Nickel Brothers, the company that owns the truck, confirmed to CHEK News the driver did not suffer any injuries in the blaze.

The fire appeared to be extinguished just before 11 a.m.


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