Posted: Sep 19, 2012 9:12 PM by Evan Weborg - MTN News
Updated: Sep 19, 2012 9:14 PM
Southbound traffic along Interstate 15 just north of Helena was stalled for some time on Wednesday afternoon as emergency crews worked quickly to put out a fire that engulfed a van.
The van, driven by a woman from Lincoln, was headed south on I-15 near mile marker 198 at about 4:30 p.m. when it happened.
Nobody was injured in the fire, and initial reports indicate that the cause was equipment failure.
Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Tim Proctor says, "It sounds like the muffler came loose from the vehicle and started dragging along the ground, sparked, and the vehicle caught on fire. It came to rest there. They were fortunate enough that DNRC was right here on scene, they were able to keep the fire contained from spreading obviously, and turning into some sort of wild-land fire type situation."
The van is likely a total loss.
No citations will be issued.
Smoke could be seen from mile away, as noted in an above photo from KXLH viewer Joe Hula.