Driver Braves Flames To Save Trucks From Inferno


Lots of drivers feel undervalued at their companies, but here’s a guy who’s sure to get a nice bonus at the end of the year. You may be a safe driver, but would you risk your life by jumping into a burning vehicle to save it and other trucks parked in a company lot? Well that’s exactly what Lance Corbett did.

According to authorities, a truck belonging to Joel Olson Trucking, Inc burst into flames at their Longview, WA location. It was sitting in the yard next to a long line of other parked trucks. The fire immediately spread to the truck next to it. That’s when Corbett jumped into the drivers’ seat of the second truck and pulled it forward so that the fire wouldn’t spread to the other trucks nearby.

When asked why he climbed in to the truck, Corbett replied that he figured that he probably had enough time to move the truck before the fire reached the diesel tank and turned the truck into a fire ball. The burnt husk of the first truck offers a chilling reminder of what might have happened to Corbett had his calculations been off.

Firefighters couldn’t save the first truck that caught fire, but their help and Corbett’s quick actions limited the losses to one truck destroyed and two with only minor damage. The cause of the fire is still unclear since the truck that started the fire had been sitting untouched in the lot for a day and a half.

Daring heroics may earn Lance Corbett the gratitude of his company, but remember that when a truck catches fire, you should get yourself and everyone else a safe distance away and notify authorities as soon as possible.


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Source: tdn

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20 comments. Add a comment.

  1. Helmuth Hack says

    The company will give him an insult payment if not, only a pat on the back. Companies do not care about employees, only what the government demands they care.

  2. says

    Sorry you’ve developed such a negative attitude.
    Fortunately, There are still companies that care about their employees, hopefully his is one of them

  3. sudon't says

    Ha! When I worked for Celadon, I had a tire catch fire going down the road. Instead of getting my property out of the truck, I was out trying to fight the fire. I lost everything in the hour it took the fire department to get there. As a reward, they fired me, saying I drove on the tire purposely, (rear inside drive tire).
    As if! I was 15 miles from the Canadian border, about to cross! I’m sure I’m gonna pull up to Canadian Immigration with a flat, let alone a burning tire.
    I later found out some idiot in a four-wheeler told them a colorful story about me going down the road like a maniac. They preferred to believe that, I guess, rather than a veteran driver with an excellent safety record. I can only imagine it’s because they hold their own drivers in contempt.

  4. frannyde says

    Good ole boy club Celedon? Boy don’t that figure! That was the worst batch of clowns I’d ever seen in Indy in my LIFE!! Very unprofessional and very unorganized. I actually walked out of their orientation years ago, hadn’t even been herded through the DOT physical or drug screen and they tried to trash me on my DAC.

  5. Luis Arteaga says

    Well, maybe there are the kind of companies who rewards such actions but i have to see them yet, the burned trucks get paid from the insurance company, the money for gratification do not, so figure out how much you will get if you get some at all, i was driving a truck down the road just 35 miles after oil changing by a shop, the guy at the shop forgot to tight the bolt completely and after these 35 miles driving i got a warning about oil pressure, the gauge also went to 10-15 psi what is half the normal presion and i inmediately shut off the engine and did let roll the truck gently to a safe spot at the side of the road and call the boss, two hours later a repair truck pull down beside and the first thing they told me was “if the engine did run for a second w/o oil pressure, at least the turbo is gone and Gods know what else in the engine” the boss was also very worry about it calling me every ten minutes, the mechanics did roll a tiny camera inside the turbo and some parts of the engine and found everything in order, they put new oil in it, new bolt on oil pan and there you go again, i did save the engine they said to me with my quick action of turning the engine down quickly, i did the rest of my trip w/o problems and when i come back the boss give me a pat in the back and a “well done boy”, no more and no less, he was not cover for such engine repairs in case that the engine went totall so i save him close to $10,000 give or take, and i got a pat in the back, go figure.

  6. Dan M says

    This reminds me of another truck company who eventually claimed bankrupcy. Just before filing bankruptcy a mysterious fire broke out where a group of their trucks were parked. Six trucks were lost in the fire. It was discovered that an accelerant was used that was non related to what a truck uses in its operation. The cause of the fire was suspicious and the insurance company refused to pay. Last I heard it’s still in the court where the truck company eventually completed a bankruptcy. It would be nice that a driver would get a bonus for such action, but in this industry it’s not likely. Convenient that a company would leave the keys in the truck.

  7. T Owens says

    Regardless if the company rewards lance or not, the fact is Lance did what almost no one would ever do. He did what was right, that is to help save someone else’s property from damage. I’d bet you ask him if he was thinking of a bonus at that time and he’d probibly just laugh. Now, how many of his coworkers stood by on sidelines and watched? Lance did the right thing. Now to Dan M, I have worked for many co’s who leave keys in the trucks at all times. It’s not uncommon at all.

  8. Kelly H says

    The fire seems very suspicious on the facts presented. I’m surprised they didn’t accuse Lance of setting the fire in the first place. Otherwise it seems highly unlikely that a truck sitting for that long of a period would “Just Burst” into flames without any help. I have seen a truck start on fire due to very very corroded battery cables to the started and the bendix hung open somehow staying engerized. The cables turn lowing red and within a few seconds started buring. Engine oil accumlated on them started really buring and in just a minute or so it would have been a complete blaze except we caught it before it got away. So things can happen but it usually takes some sort of “Other” action to get things going. Intentional or unintentional. Not worth risking life and limb in my book. Tha’s what insurance is for.

  9. YeOldeDave says

    I hope he went after whoever did the service job on the truck.

    You did what you’re supposed to do. You saved that shop that money, not the boss’s money. He would’ve had good grounds for a claim against them even for what little it did cost him instead of what it could’ve cost.

  10. Old guy says

    Years ago when I was new to the industry I pulled over and tried to put out a wheel bearing fire on the trailer and burned my hand pretty bad. So I get the fire out and when I called the supervisor told me to just drive back to the garage even with my burns. After that fiasco I wised up. Screw the equipment. My life is worth more than a damn truck. That’s what insurance is for.

  11. KM says

    Years ago my better half and I bought and installed a new stereo/ cassette player. Just before we parked at Ontario, CA. (TA), a cassette got jammed in player. We didn’t have time to fool with it so we went inside for dinner. We planned to start our trip just after when someone walked up to our table and said something happened to our truck. My better half thought someone may have backed into it, so he told me to finish dinner, that he would be back in a few minutes. As I sat there, I kept noticing more and more people going to the back door. I got real curious so I got up to see what everyone was looking at. I saw four fire trucks surrounding out truck and water and foam oozing out the top of the windows. They said the cassette player caught fire, started the plastic on the overhead insulation to drip burning plastic, curtains dripped fire beads on clothes and bedding, until the whole cab burned to a molten mess. We lived in South Carolina, some 2700 miles away, so after sitting for two days in a motel waiting for investigators and our insurance to total the truck, we rented a car and had driven home to buy another one. First we stopped at a dolloar store to buy some clothes and my husband gathered his tools and whatever didnt burn and put them in the trunk. Fond memories…

  12. Martee99 says

    The company is not going to reward you for putting them at risk for a workers compensation claim or worse yet, making them a respondent in a negligent death lawsuit filed by your family.

  13. says

    If you drove that long on a flat to catch fire>>>>> thats your neglect. this has never happen to me in 28 yrs. of driving, and i had my share of flats. something is wrong with that guys story ! He whouldnt drive for me either. and thats my story.

  14. says

    during my yrs. of driving, i made many of road side repairs on my own to company trks, after calling them in and saving them thousands of dollars on road calls, delayed freight, etc. and got nothing for it either. this isnt right.. so i understand some guys thinking the hell with the truck, Yep, it isnt worth getting hurt or the risk . You whould think the company could give ya something but NO!! then they want to know why theres a driver shortage? i do miss it but am now retired…

  15. Outlaw says

    There are many jackals in the trucking industry who are really sociopaths and turning your back on them after letting the gold show during a smile can be detrimental to your health and or life. I don’t think their parents had obtained a marriage license when they were born/hatched. Their god is green and they go to great lengths to serve him. The morality of these clowns is zero but they are extremely loyal … to each other. I don’t think they read the book where it says “what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Keep on trucking!!!

  16. Kid says

    “Regardless if the company rewards lance or not, the fact is Lance did what almost no one would ever do. He did what was right, that is to help save someone else’s property from damage. I’d bet you ask him if he was thinking of a bonus at that time and he’d probibly just laugh. Now, how many of his coworkers stood by on sidelines and watched? Lance did the right thing”

    I couldn’t agree more!

  17. Zack Hutton says

    Did they ever figure out what caused the fire? My guess would be a polishing rag that was still hot!! The Joel Olson fleet has about the nicest looking fleet on the West Coast, clean and shiny all the time. Even in a snow storm!

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