Friday, May 2, 2014

RV Fire Near Gallup, New Mexico

Today we saw something we hope we don't see again:  An RV fire.

We have no idea how the fire started and can't find anything about it on the news yet.  But here's what we know:

Today at about noon we were driving west on I-40 toward Gallup, New Mexico, when we saw dark smoke in the distance.  Then a police car -- lights flashing and siren blaring -- zoomed by us, stopped in the middle of highway and began to divert traffic. We were the second vehicle going west to be diverted off I-40 and onto old Route 66, which parallels I-40.

As we got closer, we saw that the truck towing the fifth wheel was disconnected from the rig, as was a motor scooter that appeared to have been at the back of the fifth wheel.  A few items -- I think one was a rug -- were on the ground at the side of the road. If the RV owners had time to do that, we are assuming all people and any animals are OK.  We certainly hope so.

Not sure why this happened or other details, but our thoughts are with these folks.
From the freeway sign, you can see that the RV fire happened just shy of 12 miles east of Gallup, NM.    Bev took these photos at about noon today.
As we continued west on Route 66, we started to see the line of vehicles that were closer to the RV and did not get diverted from I-40.
To the left is the scooter on a trailer.  We think it was at the back of the fifth wheel, and that someone had time to disconnect it.   To the far right is a white pick up truck we think was pulling the rig.  Wearing a white T-shirt and towards the middle of the fifth-wheel is a man who may have been in the truck towing the RV.  A woman was further to the right and may have been in the truck as well.
As we drove by the flames, I was worried about an explosion -- but I think any explosions that were going to happen had already occurred. I took this photo from the passenger seat through the driver's side window -- that's an outline of Jim (who was driving) at the far left. 

14 comments:

  1. I hope we never have to see one of those.

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    1. For sure. Hope all is well with you.

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  2. Yikes! Powerful fire there. I'm glad it looks like the people were out and might have had time to do some disconnecting. Scary!

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    1. Tessa! You are my hero! I followed your RV travels with your kids and was amazed. So glad you took the time to comment. Yes, it was scary and I really feel for those folks.

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  3. Greatest fear. We live in NM and will check out the news tonight. So glad it appears everyone was safe. Possessions can always be replaced.

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    1. I still don't see any news on line. If you see something and there is a link, would you send it to me?

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    2. I watched the evening news and looked online. Very surprised they didn't seem to cover it. If I find anything, will send a link.

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  4. What a blaze! Glad to know that it looked like no one was hurt.

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    1. Two people were nearby who appeared to be with the rig, so we hope everyone was out and OK. It must have been a horrific experience, though.

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  5. Our 2004 40-foot Country Coach burned in our driveway in 2011. It was caused by the four-door Norcold absorption refrigerator (on electric at the time). The fire department was only a few minutes away and had the fire out within half an hour, so it was still easy to see where it had started (the refrigerator was a pile of ashes and a couple of twisted tubes next to the big hole in the wall and the ceiling above). The entire ceiling from front to back had turned into a broiler, toasting and/or melting the inside of the coach and most of the contents down to waist level and ruining everything else with sticky black soot.

    While at Seal Beach RV park, I woke up in the middle of the night and the blinds at the head of the bed were pink instead of beige--A nearby coach was on fire. We have seen other fires in RV parks and a couple along the road. Usually the refrigerator was the culprit in the parks and the engine or a blown tire was the culprit on the road..., but sometimes hard to tell because too much burns up before help arrives. And they all burn fast and furious just like in your pictures (also see Youtube for RV fires). We now have a 27RB LD with the refrigerator toward the back and three doors and big windows between us and that refriberator...

    Have enjoyed following you.

    May 3, 2014 at 7:51 AM

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  6. Sorry about your Country Coach. And thanks for the stories/warnings/and general info about RV fires. We definitely need to be aware of what can happen.

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  7. Margie L: I sent you a note via Facebook. If you see this message, send me an email at bburgemoore@comcast.net and let me know all is well.

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  8. That's a harrowing thing to witness. At least you've kept yourselves out of harm. A lot of problems can really hit vehicles along the way, so we should always keep ourselves alert and in access for the nearest safe pass. Take care!

    Abraham Yates @ Apache Oil Company

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