Old truck was in the back of Alice junk yard

Ofelia Garcia Hunter, Alice Echo-News Journal

Ignacio Nunez and his son reacted quickly back and forth filling up buckets with water to put out a fire that ignited a junked truck in his used auto parts yard on the 1600 block of W. Front Street.

The fire started about 1:45 p.m. Thursday when an individual was using a hand torch to get a used part from a 1996 Chevrolet truck parked in Nunez' Used Auto Parts business. The fire department units were unable to use the front entrance because a non-working truck and low electrical power lines were blocking the driveway, fire officials said.

"It was a vehicle that burned in the back of the junk yard," Fire Chief Van Nest said. "It was very limited (space) due to numerous factors."

Instead a brush fire truck was brought in to go around the outside of the property which was covered by high grass and get closer to the vehicle fire that billowed gray smoke on the west side of town.

"We had to go around the property and go around the fence," Van Nest said.

When the fire trucks was able to douse water on the burned truck, Nunez and his son had already brought the fire under control by shuttling five-gallon buckets of water.

After running back and forth carrying water buckets, Nunez and his son sat under the shade to catch their breath.

"Why do we need the fire department, they said they can't get through because the grass is too high," Nunez said.

"Why do they want the trucks if they don't want to get them dirty."

Fire officials said the fire could have been worse if it weren't for the Nunez's quick thinking because more than 50 wrecked vehicles line the one and a half acre yard.

"We give the credit all to you," a fire fighter told Nunez.

After the fire fighters soaked the truck and the fire was out, a fire fighter explained to Nunez why they couldn't get to the fire sooner. He told Nunez that as the brush truck was making its way closer to the fire through the property next to his, the fire truck ran over dumped debris including furniture and grass hidden in the tall grass.

Nunez understood and was thankful that no one was hurt.