A postal truck burst into flames at 188th Street and Vashon Hwy. in the mid-afternoon of Wednesday, Feb. 16, after an accident involving another vehicle.
Despite the dramatic conflagration, no known injuries resulted from the accident, according to Vashon Fire Chief Charles Krimmert, who described the fire district’s response. King County Sheriff’s officers also responded to the accident.
Krimmert said that initial first-responders en route to the accident noticed a “thermal column,” at a distance, rising from the scene of the accident, and called for a fire truck to be added to the response.
The fire truck arrived and began to douse the flames at 3:37 p.m., he said, with the fire completely put out by 3:42 p.m.
Postal spokesperson Ernst Swanson told The Beachcomber that the postal truck had been rear-ended prior to the fire. Some of the parcels on the truck were damaged and destroyed, he said, and other mail and advertising mail got wet. He added that any mail that could be salvaged would be delivered. The truck, he said, was a complete ruin.
Swanson said he did not know the age of the truck involved in the accident, but that generally, post office vehicles are kept in service for a number of years.
Later in the afternoon, a Beachcomber reporter drove by the scene of the accident, as dusk fell, and observed two postal employees clearing the area around the truck of charred mail and putting it into a postal bin. The entire interior of the truck appeared to be blackened and charred.