ST. GEORGE – A utility vehicle caught on fire today in St. George, stranding a worker tending to fiber optic lines high in a bucket on a boon.
St. George Fire Department, with its hook and ladder truck, responded to the incident in the area of 900 South and River Road.
Fire Chief Robert Stoker said that the utility worker was up on the boom of his bucket truck working on fiber optic lines, spatted lower than the power lines, when the vehicle fire broke out.
“The truck appears to have run out of gas,” Stoker said, “and it has an automatic switch-over valve for the fuel system and he said the truck tried to restart itself at which time the engine compartment started smoking.”
The truck did catch on fire apparently from mechanical or electrical causes within the vehicle, Stoker said, and the worker was stuck in the bucket. Since the burning truck involved the engine compartment and the cavity of the interior, it stalled and its hydraulics were inoperable so that the worker was unable to lower himself by the boom.
“He was able to slide down the boon on the truck and escape that way and get back to ground level,” Stoker said.
The worker was uninjured in the fire but the truck was a total loss.
“All in all a very good outcome,” Stoker said, “to what could’ve been a very tragic situation.”
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CORRECTION: Boon corrected to boom.
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