Mail Truck Fires Persist in Aging Fleet Tagged for Replacement

Several hundred mail trucks burst into flames, burning beyond repair, in the past five years, according to a review of U.S. Postal Service documents and public news reports.

At least six fires occurred in September and October, and 15 have been reported so far this year.

The fires in the aging fleet of Grumman Long Life Vehicles — the classic boxy mail trucks used for decades to deliver the mail in neighborhoods across the country — tend to start in or near the engine compartment, according to an internal 2014 Postal Service memo.

Further USPS investigations showed that potential causes included failed fuel system components and overloaded wiring.

No mail carriers have died in the fires. At least one letter carrier was hospitalized with smoke inhalation, according to a reportlast year in the North Andover, Mass., Eagle-Tribune. Although the Postal Service warned its employees not to, drivers sometimes have risked injury by trying to save the mail inside a burning truck. At times passers-by have helped.


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