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Close call as fuel tanker truck burns up in Dawson City

A larger disaster was averted on Sunday, when fire crews rushed to contain a burning fuel truck in the town's industrial area. 'It could have been a very ugly scene,' the fire chief says.

'It could have been a very ugly scene,' says fire chief Jim Regimbal

Quick thinking and a daring act may have saved Dawson City from a major disaster in the town's industrial area on Sunday.

A fire broke out in the cab of a fuel truck that was parked in the area. Fire chief Jim Regimbal says the truck was close to a building and three other fuel trucks — some of them full. 

"It could have been a very ugly scene," Regimbal said. "Bulk fuel all over the area and no hydrants in place. So worst case scenario, you've got four fully-involved vehicles, explosions, a workshop with injuries."

People on the scene quickly called 911.

Instead of idly waiting for fire crews, someone leaped into action to contain the damage. 

"They actually hooked onto the tanker and pulled it back from the building a few feet," said deputy fire chief Dave Taylor. "It wasn't too far away from the building."

Firefighters arrived shortly after and doused the blaze. Nobody was hurt and damage was restricted to the one vehicle. 

"Is it something that I would recommend, that people jump in vehicles and move them away when the vehicle beside them is on fire? No," Regimbal said.

"But fantastic quick thinking probably averted what could have been a much uglier situation."

It's not known yet what caused the fire, but Taylor says fire officials believe it was electrical.

"Not much left of the truck to do an investigation on," he said.

With files from Cheryl Kawaja

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