Semi-truck tractor catches fire

By Patty Hastings, Columbian breaking news reporter

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A truck tractor caught fire Friday afternoon while parked near Whole Foods in east Vancouver.

The driver parked the tractor near 815 S.E. 160th Ave. around 2:20 p.m. and went to do laundry. Meanwhile, a fire started in the engine of the 1994 Kenworth, and 911 calls started flooding in, said Capt. Dave James with the Vancouver Fire Department.

Arriving firefighters broke the window out of the sleeper cabin, just to check that no one was trapped inside, James said. The driver returned to his truck while crews were trying to extinguish the fire. The tractor was a total loss, James said, but the trailer and the sheetrock it was hauling were not damaged by the fire.

The fire was likely caused by mechanical failure, James said. Damage is estimated at $30,000 for the tractor, which was towed from the scene.