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Fire chars truck, camper on South Pass
Crews from three fire trucks worked to extinguish a vehicle fire Thursday near South Pass. Traffic in both directions was blocked for more than an hour, and a pickup truck, fifth-wheel camper and off-road vehicle were destroyed in the blaze. Photo by Eric Blom

Fire chars truck, camper on South Pass

Jun 14, 2013 - By Eric Blom, Staff Writer

A pickup truck overheated and caught fire Thursday while climbing the north slope of South Pass on Wyoming Highway 28.

Otis Smith of Cody and his female passenger escaped injury, but flames incinerated their truck, their fifth-wheel camper and a side-by-side off-road vehicle they were towing.

Law enforcement blocked traffic in both directions for more than an hour while three fire trucks and their crews battled the blaze roughly 17 miles south of Lander.

Smith said he pulled over when he noticed the truck was overheating. When he did, he saw flames shoot out from near the engine and heard an explosion.

"I yelled at her to get out," Smith said, referring to his passenger.

He then pulled his two dogs out of the truck before the fire worsened.

"The engine compartment blew up into flames," Smith said.

He called 911 and moved away from the vehicles.

Before firefighters arrived, flames had jumped from the truck to the camper and ATV. An hour later, all three were reduced to smoldering frames.

Smith said he was traveling from Cody to Green River when the fire started.

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