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Blaze claims AEP truck

WINDSOR TOWNSHIP -- Heat from a vehicle's catalytic converter may have sparked a fire in dry grass Tuesday, causing a blaze that consumed an American Electric Power truck.

David Conley, a line crew supervisor at AEP's Ashland, Ky. office, said he had driven up a hill off Driftwood Road to check utility lines when the fire occurred.

"I drove up, parked the truck and when I came back it was on fire," Conley said.

The 1996 Chevy Blazer was a total loss. It had to be pulled off the steep hillside with a bulldozer.

Firefighters from both Windsor and Lawrence townships responded to the call.

"I drove it the last two weeks and never had a problem with it," Conley said of the vehicle.

Windsor Township Fire Chief Don Christian said the ground right now is very dry and he figures the catalytic

converter set the parched weeds on fire as Conley took the four-wheel-drive vehicle up the hill.

"It's extremely dry right now," Christian said. "It doesn't take a whole lot to get a fire started."

No one was injured in the fire that started shortly after 9 am. Teresa Moore/The Ironton Tribune