A driver escaped injury Wednesday morning when his Ford pickup truck caught fire.

It took some time for the driver to reportedly notice his truck was on fire, according to a fire official.

A witness told officials that it appeared gasoline was leaking from the rear of the truck around the East Verde Estates turnoff on State Route 87. They saw flames coming from the rear of the truck, but the driver, unaware the rear of the truck was on fire, kept driving.

The driver finally stopped near the Home Depot roundabout around 9:22 a.m. and the fire quickly engulfed the rear of the truck. A huge black plume of smoke was seen coming for the scene, worrying some residents a forest fire had started.

Payson firefighters quickly knocked the fire down and it did not extend into the vegetation.

Paramedics checked the driver out on the scene and he refused further medical treatment, a fire official said.

Crews cleared the scene around 10:30 a.m.

Contact the editor at

Contact the editor at abechman@payson.com

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