The Rivercrest Volunteer Fire Department extinguished a vehicle fire that left an 18-wheeler a total loss Tuesday afternoon on Winston 8 Ranch Road near the intersection of Ramsey Road.

RVFD Chief Patrick McKelvy said the 18-wheeler was completely engulfed upon the department’s arrival around 4 p.m, and firefighters had complete control of the fire within a few minutes.

Chris Hammond, the foreman for Hemphill Pile Driving, the company that owns the rig, said he had left the 18-wheeler on the side of Winston 8 Ranch Road behind the Hemphill Pile Driving Company to go to H&H Pipe and Steel.

“The neighbors said someone in a white Ford pickup had stopped and took some pictures of the truck before trying to start it,” Hammond said, “at which point it apparently caught on fire, and they jumped back in their truck and left.”

Hammond said he was glad the department was able to extinguish the blaze before it destroyed a “hammer” used to drive large bridge columns, which was loaded on the rig’s trailer.

Angelina County Sheriff’s deputy Lt. Mark McLin, who was dispatched to the fire due to its suspicious nature, said that as of Tuesday afternoon the incidentwas being investigated as “just a truck fire.” 

Casey Sizemore’s email address is csizemore@lufkindailynews.com.

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