AUGUSTA — A fire in the bed of a pickup truck sparked by a gas can brought Augusta firefighters and a host of onlookers to Commercial Street at the base of Oak Street Thursday morning.

The three-quarter-ton GMC pickup, belonging to Roger Lord of Hallowell, was destroyed in the blaze, which occurred around 10 a.m.

“He said he was driving down Commercial Street, looked in the rear view and saw flames,” said Battalion Chief Jason Farris, of the Augusta Fire Department. “We surmised there was a hole in the gas can and something ignited the fumes and that’s what started the fire.”

Farris said the truck bed contained an older gas can, aerosol cans, paint cans and miscellaneous items.

“It was an older gas can, not a newer one with fume controls,” he said. “That why it’s important for people to have those newer gas cans.”

The vehicle was later towed away.

Farris said three companies responded to the downtown fire since a large propane tank was nearby and power lines were overhead.

“I had one company look for hazards, one work with the Augusta Police Department to do crowd control and one to put out the fire,” Farris said, adding that he was concerned that some of the onlookers attracted by the firetrucks and activity came a little too close. The fire closed off most of Commercial Street.

Two other vehicles parked near the burning vehicle also posed hazards, he said.

Firefighters were on the scene about half an hour.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams


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