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UPDATE: Truck fire closes highway in Travellers Rest Friday

George MacEwen walks the scene, safe on the ground after another driver noticed his straw had caught fire.
George MacEwen walks the scene, safe on the ground after another driver noticed his straw had caught fire. - Alison Jenkins/Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
TRAVELLERS REST, P.E.I. —

Highway 2 in Traveller’s Rest was closed for over an hour Friday afternoon as emergency crews responded to a vehicle fire.

Kensington Fire Department, Island EMS and the RCMP were on the scene. No one was hurt in the fire.

George MacEwen was delivering straw to a dairy farm when another driver pulled up next to him, telling his to pull over.

“I was coming around the roundabout and all I saw was a ball of flame by the muffler,” said Grant Clark.

Grant Clark saw this truck on fire and told the driver to pull over. Grant Clark photo.
Grant Clark saw this truck on fire and told the driver to pull over. Grant Clark photo.

MacEwen stopped the truck and got out to see what was happening.

When he noticed he was under a power line, he hopped back in the truck to move it.

He was only on the ground for 30 seconds,but when he got back in the cab was hot, he said.

He managed to move the truck away from the power line but couldn’t get back out the driver’s side door. Part of a flaming bale had fallen against it.

“So I came out the passenger’s side,” he said.

The truck is insured, but MacEwen said it’s old and he doesn’t think he’ll get much for the loss.

MacEwen runs a mixed farm and straw sales are his main income. He exports the large square bales throughout the Atlantic provinces and into Maine and Pennsylvania.

There were 27 bales of straw on the truck, each weighing 660 lbs. MacEwen said it’s a scarce item this year because of the drought.

“I could sell another 5,000 bales,” he said. “In June it looked good.”

MacEwen said the straw was at 13 per cent moisture or less. He figures the exhaust must have gotten jostled and was sitting too close to the bales to cause the fire.

“That’s how explosive things are when it’s this dry,” said MacEwen.

Kensington Fire Department battles a blaze on a truck hauling straw in Travellers Rest Friday
Kensington Fire Department battles a blaze on a truck hauling straw in Travellers Rest Friday

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