None hurt as pickup truck explodes, catches fire in downtown Juneau

Truck on fire
A firefighter aims a hose at a burning pickup truck Monday night on F Street in downtown Juneau. (Photo courtesy Noah Williams)

A pickup truck exploded in downtown Juneau Monday night, but the Juneau Police Department does not believe the fire was suspicious or a crime.

A witness says it sounded like a fireworks factory exploding.

“They make this kind of shish-shish-shish-shish-shish sound that sounds just like rockets shooting up into the air repeatedly,” says Noah Williams. “And then, I just saw this big fire away from my house.”

Williams says he called 911 from his home near Cope Park and then grabbed his camera and ran to F Street, across from the laundromat and the old Bill Ray Center.

“I was a little scared running into that general area. But they seemed to have it mostly under control by the time I got there,” Williams says. “So, props to CCF/R! You guys rock!”

Wrecked truck
Firefighters check out a pickup truck that exploded and caught fire Monday night on F Street in downtown Juneau. One of the propane tanks can be seen at the far right. (Photo courtesy Noah Williams)

Firefighters were already putting out the fire.

There were also filled propane tanks in the back in the pickup truck that firefighters were trying to keep from exploding.

“It looks like maybe one of the propane tanks had blown or two of them had blown,” Williams said. “And then, the safety valves had kicked in for the rest of them. I’m pretty sure they have like an overpressure valve and it appears the one (tank) that was on fire when I got there was just venting.”

Tuesday morning after the fire, a woman who did not give her name grabbed a blanket and a few clothes from the burned out truck that was still parked on the street. She said she was in the pickup’s cab when the fire started and escaped uninjured.

The Fire Marshal’s office says a propane-fueled heater tipped over and ignited other items in the truck. They ask people to call them if they witnessed the start of the fire Monday night. If witnesses have pictures or video, they would like to see them as well.