Fire damages tractor-trailer in North Liberty

Blaze quickly extinguished, no injuries reported

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The Gazette

NORTH LIBERTY — Mike Van Winkle believes his buddy’s tractor-trailer may be cursed.

He said the semi was involved in a rollover crash in Kansas and had recently returned from the body shop. On Wednesday, around noon, the cab of the truck became engulfed in flames causing heavy damage to the vehicle.

The North Liberty Fire Department and Police Deparment were called to the scene of the fire outside the maintenance building at Holiday Mobile Home Court, 1 Holiday Lodge Road, around noon. The fire was quickly extinguished and no injuries were reported.

Van Winkle, who works as the maintenance man at the mobile home community, said he also helps out with maintenance on the truck, which is owned by George Hora Trucking LLC of Iowa City. He said he last worked on the truck late Tuesday, but no one was working on the truck when it caught fire.

“That same truck rolled in Kansas and now this,” he said. “It’s doomed.”

Van Winkle said he believes the truck is insured. Representatives of the trucking company could not be reached for comment.

It appeared the fire started in the engine compartment and flames could be seen shooting form the front window of the cab.

North Liberty Police Chief Diane Venenga said no one was in the semi when it caught fire and none of the firefighters suffered any injuries in battling the blaze in 90 degree heat.

Kathy Parker, community manager at Holiday Mobile Home Court, said she saw the smoke from her office building just south of the maintenance building where the semi was parked. She called 911 to report the fire, she said.

“The response time was wonderful,” she said, noting it took fire and police officials only minutes to show up and put out the blaze.

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