A portion of Pelham Road in Jacksonville was blocked Monday afternoon as crews put out a fire in a mail carrier’s vehicle.
According to Jacksonville Fire Department Lt. J. D. Latta, a fire crew arrived at the scene around 4 p.m. Monday to find the front end of the Jeep driven by postal worker Cheryl Bonds on fire. Latta said no other vehicles were involved and Bonds escaped unharmed.
The vehicle caught fire on Pelham Road at the entrance to University Circle, just in front of the president’s house at Jacksonville State University.
“The driver said she noticed the smoke coming out from underneath and stopped and got out,” Latta said.
Latta said the fire was quickly contained and put out at the front of the vehicle, but a rupture in a fuel line caused gasoline to leak into the road and catch fire.
“We got the engine compartment fire out, but it was leaking gas and we were having a hard time getting that out,” Latta said.
Jacksonville police blocked Pelham at its intersections with Bennett Boulevard and Roebuck Waters Street for a little more than an hour as the fire was contained and the vehicle was towed away.
Randall O’Donnell, postmaster at the Jacksonville post office, declined to comment on the mail that was inside the vehicle, citing postal service policy.
As the vehicle was prepared for towing, a basket of envelopes sat on the sidewalk near the fire with only minimal apparent charring.
City Street Department vehicles arrived, and workers spread sand to disperse remnants of fire-resistant foam used to put out the blaze before the road was reopened.
“We had to absorb what we could of the foam to keep it from leaking into the intersection here,” Latta said.