NAPLES, ID — A vehicle containing mail from the United States Postal Service caught fire on Shiloh Loop Road on Feb. 15. Boundary County Sheriff’s Deputy Bob Elam was first on the scene and the driver had mail already out of the burning vehicle. Elam placed the mail inside his patrol car to keep it safe and dry.
“She (the driver) was able to retrieve most of the mail, but not all of it,” said Communications Specialist for the Postal Service, Ernie Swanson, stating that the small amount of mail still inside the burning vehicle was “an unfortunate loss.”
South Boundary Fire responded to the fire, with North Bench Fire on mutual aid. Paradise Valley Fire also responded and assisted with traffic control and Boundary Ambulance also responded.
South Boundary Fire Chief Tony Rohrwasser said the cause of the fire was unclear, but he stated there was a trail of what he believed to be transmission fluid on the road starting at U.S. 95 and leading to the Jeep.
South Boundary had the opportunity to use a Class D extinguisher for the first time, which specializes in putting out combustible metal fires. Class D fires burn with a extremely bright, white flame and are known to explode when water is used to extinguish them. The Class D extinguisher uses a dry chemical that smothers the flames. The firefighters used it in conjunction with other fire fighting methods.
“The combination of all three got it out real quick,” said Rohrwasser. “It worked fantastic.“
Although the fire was put out quickly, the vehicle, which is privately owned by the driver, was a total loss. Swanson stated that the important thing was that the employee was not injured.
“She was unhurt and did what she could to retrieve the mail,” said Swanson.