On April 23 at 2:10 p.m., Canby Fire was dispatched to a car fire located at 15602 Arndt Rd. NE, in Aurora. Fire crews reported a large column of black smoke from nearly four miles away.
Crews found a fully involved Ford F150 pick-up truck in the driveway of the dispatched location. Bystanders told crews that just prior to their arrival, the fuel tank had exploded, sending a huge fire ball off the driver's side of the vehicle.
Crews quickly extinguished the initial blaze and worked diligently to extinguish the remaining fire.
The vehicle owner, Tom Peterson, told firefighters that he was in his home when he heard something explode. When he emerged from his front door he saw the entire engine compartment, the cab and all four tires involved in fire. He attempted to retrieve a few personal belongings from the cab, but was driven back by the intense heat.
Shortly after his failed attempt the gas tank "let go" dangerously close to where he was standing. "I had just filled the gas tank," shared Peterson.
The vehicle is considered a total loss. The cause and origin have not yet been determined.
Mr. Peterson is no stranger to Canby Fire. On Dec. 15, 2008 he was involved in a motor vehicle crash that left him and his dog stranded in a cold, wet marsh on Barlow Rd. His dog was credited for keeping him warm through the night, ultimately saving his life.