North Collier fire chief saves firefighters from blazing truck

Chief Cunningham talks about what happened right before he saved the lives of two firefighters inside a blazing truck.

NORTH NAPLES, Fla. A North Collier firefighter was released from the hospital Tuesday following a blaze that destroyed a brush truck on Monday.

North Collier Fire Control & Rescue District Chief James Cunningham ordered two firefighters to immediately evacuate Brush Truck 46 after he noticed they were in danger.

“B46 get out of the truck! Your truck is on fire,” Chief Cunningham said over the radio.
“Brush 46 abandon the truck.”

Cunnigham’s call gave the firefighters time to evacuate the truck and saved their lives.

“I’ve got ’em safe… the truck is on fire… the two crew members are safe,” he said via radio.

The brush fire began on Jonquil Circle but quickly multiplied into four separate fires before jumping Interstate 75. Residents of Malibu Lakes Apartments were forced to evacuate for several hours before they were allowed to return to their homes around 8 p.m.

It’s unclear whether the brush truck had engine problems or if the brush fire was the cause of its destruction, Cunningham said.

The state fire marshal is currently investigating the incident.

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