Investigators conducted a limited probe into a vehicle fire that destroyed the tractor portion of a tractor-trailer Thursday afternoon, a member of the fire marshal’s office in the New Braunfels Fire Department said Friday.
No one was hurt in the blaze behind the Pilot Travel Center in New Braunfels.
“We just did a very basic investigation because there wasn’t anything suspicious about it,” Lt. Matthew Bushnell said. “We think there was some kind of mechanical or electrical failure in the area in the back of the truck. It might have had something to do with a heater.”
The fire started about 1:40 p.m. at 4142 Loop 337, and firefighters put it out within about 10 minutes of their arrival but were still on scene at least as late as 4:30 p.m., an NBFD spokesman said.
Bushnell said the driver, a man in his 40s who works out of San Antonio, had just filled his 2003 Freightliner with gas for a two-hour trip north to drop off a load of gravel. The driver smelled something then reacted, Bushnell said.
“He looked back, saw a small flame and tried to put it out with a fire extinguisher,” he said. “It didn’t extinguish. The smoke got to be too much for him, so he got out and went inside and told the clerks to call 911.”
Someone inside called for help. Firefighters arrived in a few minutes and extinguished the flames.
“There was nothing suspicious, so we did a very limited investigation,” Bushnell reiterated.