Truck bed fire

Firefighters Kira Jones, left, and Brian Welch of Chaffee County Fire Protection District douse smoldering canvas and other items from a truck bed fire Tuesday alongside U.S. 285. The truck was headed to Denver from Farmington, N.M., when the driver spotted flames coming from the rear of the vehicle.

Painting equipment and personal items in the bed of a pickup truck carrying four painters from Farmington, N.M., caught fire at about 1:45 p.m. Tuesday as the truck was headed north on U.S. 285 near CR 165.

The truck, owned by Riley Industrial Services of Farmington, was headed to Denver for an industrial painting job.

Driver Stanish Thomas of Farmington said he looked in the rearview mirror and saw flames coming from the rear of the vehicle.

Thomas said he pulled over, and the men called 911 and used a fire extinguisher to get the fire under control.

Smoldering canvas, luggage and other items were pulled out of the bed of the pickup and onto the side of the road, where Chaffee County Fire Protection District firefighters doused them with water.

Fire Chief Robert Bertram said it was difficult to tell the cause of the fire. All the equipment was new and the men in the truck said they had not been smoking.

The four men decided to go back to Farmington because their equipment was damaged and they lost several personal belongings.

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