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Equipment failure ends in pickup fire: Occupants, animals escape without injury


Multiple times, a shower of sparks erupted from the burning pickup as firefighters attempted to extinguish the vehicle fire last Thursday, Oct. 9, on the White Bird Grade on U.S. Highway 95. No injuries were reported.

Photo by David Rauzi
Multiple times, a shower of sparks erupted from the burning pickup as firefighters attempted to extinguish the vehicle fire last Thursday, Oct. 9, on the White Bird Grade on U.S. Highway 95. No injuries were reported.


Video

White Bird Grade pick-up fire

Crews with the White Bird Volunteer Fire Department extinguish a truck fire on the White Bird Grade on U.S. Highway 95 last Thursday evening, Oct. 9.

Crews with the White Bird Volunteer Fire Department extinguish a truck fire on the White Bird Grade on U.S. Highway 95 last Thursday evening, Oct. 9.

WHITE BIRD – A vehicle malfunction is the suspected cause in a fire last week that destroyed a pickup on the White Bird Grade and partially obstructed traffic along U.S. Highway 95.

No injuries were reported in the Thursday evening, Oct. 9, incident for not only both truck occupants but as well for several animals being transported in an attached horse trailer.

The report of a truck on fire at milepost 230 was called in to the Idaho County Sheriff’s Office at 5:32 p.m. by Leanne Woslum of Yellow Wolf Lodge. The 2013 3500 Dodge pickup, hauling a horse trailer, was northbound, part of a three-vehicle convoy transporting eight family members from Bastrop, Texas, relocating to Sandpoint.

“The transmission overheated and caught fire,” said the driver, Kaila Swank, 24, who with her brother, Colton, was in the vehicle when the blaze touched off.

Passersby assisted in detaching the horse trailer from the burning pickup, and removed three horses, two dogs and two cats to a nearby pullout. Highway traffic slowed as black smoke billowed from the pickup before ICSO deputies arrived to control traffic through a one-lane corridor through the scene. The White Bird Fire Department arrived with one engine and five personnel to control the blaze, punctuated by explosions of sparks from the vehicle battery, as well as prevent its spread into the adjacent dry grass.

ICSO deputies Troy Roberg and Scott Paulsen, and Grangeville Police Officer Phillip Smith assisted at the scene. Dale’s Rescue Towing provided wrecker services.



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