Forest fires caused by improperly installed truck exhaust have broken out in several towns

Forest fires caused by improperly installed truck exhaust have broken out in several towns

Traffic is back on the Everett Turnpike in Merrimack due to multiple wildfires. Photo/Jeffrey Hastings

Merrimack, New Hampshire – Wildfires spread nearly nine miles in several towns on Sunday, apparently sparked by a truck with a defective exhaust pipe that shot out flames while traveling on the highway.

On November 12, 2023, at approximately 1:30 p.m., troopers from New Hampshire State Police Troop B Barracks responded to multiple wildfires on the FE Everett Turnpike. A witness reported that a yellow Mack truck with “Kallwall” lettering on the side panels was traveling southbound with flames sporadically shooting out of exhaust pipes and wildfires starting at multiple locations on the side of the highway.

The Merrimack Fire Department responded and was assisted by both the Nashua and Bedford Fire Departments to extinguish the fires, which began to get deeper into the timber line. In several locations, the fire approached residential properties. The right lane was closed in several locations for approximately 30 minutes while crews worked to extinguish the fire.

The forces are working to determine who is responsible for this incident. Anyone with any information regarding this incident is asked to contact Trooper Perciballi at (603) 271-3636.

Multiple forest fires were reported, started by a truck and flames coming from its exhaust, according to eyewitnesses. Photo/NH State Police

About two hours later, most of the fires had been extinguished, when another accident occurred involving the Merrimack 5 engine.

The engine had just refilled its water tank and was taking Exit 12, heading onto Bedford Road. While the engine was turning, an eastbound passenger vehicle failed to stop and struck the side of the machine.

The engine driver was the only firefighter in the engine and quickly realized that the vehicle had 5 occupants and was engulfed in flames. The lone firefighter removed 4 children and an adult from the vehicle and then extended a hose line. The car fire was extinguished and medical care was provided to all occupants of the car.

Two additional ambulances and engines were dispatched to the scene, Bedford Road was closed and traffic returned to the main road.

All the occupants of the car suffered minor injuries, and it appears that they all refused to be transported by ambulance to the hospital.

An accident occurred between a car and a fire truck just hours after a wildfire broke out along the Everett Turnpike. Photo/Jeffrey Hastings

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