Tuesday Truck Fire Blocks Armand Hammer Exit Ramp
LOWER POTTSGROVE PA – A fire broke out Tuesday (May 24, 2022) shortly before 2 p.m. at the left rear side of a pick-up truck that was exiting westbound U.S. Route 422 at its Armand Hammer Boulevard interchange. The driver and sole occupant of the involved vehicle, a black-colored four-door Chevrolet Avalanche, escaped injury. The truck, however, was severely damaged and needed to be towed away.
Several police and firefighters who responded said the blaze erupted in a place they had rarely if ever seen: the vehicle’s external fuel nozzle. The “unusual” location, as one firefighter put it, caused some first responders to speculate the fire might have been caused by ignition of a small fuel line leak.
There were no official pronouncements regarding a cause from Lower Pottsgrove Township police who investigated the incident, or from township fire marshal representatives. They were busy gathering information at the scene to complete required reports.
Firefighters used handheld extinguishers equipped with thin, flexible tubes to force a powder-like agent down the nozzle and into the fuel system. Their use produced cloud-like billowing white gusts (at top) beneath the pick-up, and left a powdery residue covering the truck’s fuel door and left fender (at right). Firefighters later pointed to where fuel had leaked onto the ramp’s asphalt.
The unidentified driver, while waiting for the tow truck, acknowledged he was “lucky” to have gotten out unscathed.
Lower Pottsgrove Police Chief Rick Bell said he talked with a Pottstown police officer whose patrol car was ahead of the Avalanche at the exit ramp. The truck was seen emitting smoke at the time, Bell said he learned, and then burst into flame just before it reached the turn onto northbound Armand Hammer.
Montgomery County emergency dispatchers receiving the fire call sent units from the Sanatoga and Ringing Hill fire companies and fire police to the scene. They were joined there by three Lower Pottsgrove police units.
The westbound off-ramp was blocked to traffic (above) similarly trying to exit 422 at Armand Hammer. Those vehicles were sent to exits further west. Drivers who tried to maneuver away from the blocked ramp and back into the flow of 422 traffic were occasionally heard honking their horns at others to let them through.
Photos by The Post