A fire extinguisher may not be the first item most motorists would think to have along with their vehicles. But it's one that Pacific resident Dan White had in his truck, and it totally paid off for another truck driver from Arkansas passing through Eureka on Thursday afternoon.
Dwayne Schrodel was driving from Akansas to Decatur, IL, when a pool of black liquid spewed out and caught fire underneath his engine as he exited Interstate 44 to Eureka at the Allenton/Six Flags road ramp.
Editor's Note: I was driving through the intersection to check out the circumstances for a story about a stolen car being extracted from the Meramec River at the Allenton Boat Ramp when I came upon the flaming truck and immediately pulled over, as did two other men—one being Dan White, as I later discovered. White pointed the extinguisher at the fire and got it out.
"I've had that extinguisher bouncing around my truck for years," said White. "I could finally use it, and it was awesome."
Schrodel's Ford 150 sat smoking, blocking the exit of those coming off the eastbound lane of the interstate.
Oddly, within a few minutes, along came a driver of the Hyndrich Towing Company, as if on cue. That driver kindly pulled Schrodel's truck out of the busy traffic pattern and over to nearby Circle K Shell station.
As firefighters worked to determine how to best assess the truck engine's problems, I went inside the gas station to secure a phone number for Price Automotive Service and Tire to give to Schrodel so he could get truck repair assistance.
The Boys Scouts have it right: Be prepared!