Sulphur truck destroyed in blaze near Casino
A TRUCK driver was lucky to escape serious injury when his rig, loaded with sulphur, caught fire at Dyraaba near Casino.
Newcastle Fire Communications shift supervisor Paul Randall said NSW Fire and Rescue Casino brigade was called to Sextonville Rd at 12.30pm today after reports a truck had caught fire.
When fire fighters arrived at the scene they found it was no ordinary truck fire, as the burning eight-tonne rig was carrying three-and-a-half tonnes of sulphur, Mr Randall said.
Reinforcements were called from across the Northern Rivers, with eight tankers called to the scene from Lismore, Goonellabah, Alstonville and Kyogle, and Hazmat units from Goonellabah and Tweed Heads.
“It was very fortunate that when fire fighters arrived the truck driver had managed to get out of the vehicle and to safety,” he said.
The Gavin Creighton’s Fertiliser Spreading truck spilled part of the sulphur, Mr Randall said, and burned for more than three hours as fire fighters battled the blaze and shifting wind conditions.
“One minute fire fighters were upwind from the truck and the next minute the wind would swing around and they had to move the tankers and personnel to the other side of the truck,” he said.
“Hazmat units monitored any run-off from the fire and also conducted atmospheric testing at the scene to make sure fumes weren’t affecting any nearby residents, because burning sulphur gives off very toxic fumes.
“The Rural Fire Service had tankers at the scene relaying water to NSW Fire and Rescue.”
By 4.05pm, Mr Randall said fire fighters had the blaze extinguished and were moving the remaining sulphur around to ensure there were no remaining hotspots, while atmospheric testing continued.
Mr Randall said the cause of the fire was yet to be determined.
Owner of the truck, Jodie Creighton, said the insured truck was totally destroyed.
“My main concern was for our driver and fortunately he is safe and was unharmed,” she said.
Losing the truck will impact the business, Mrs Creighton said, but fortunately they had other trucks they could continue operating.
“At the end of the day we’re a small family business and we are down a truck so I don’t know what we will do,” she said.
“It has been a very stressful afternoon but the main thing is everyone is safe.”