Damage bill to reach $300k from truck blaze
THE NSW coroner will determine the cause of an intense fire that destroyed a b-double car carrier at a truck stop just north of the Iluka turnoff on the Pacific Highway early on Saturday morning.
With flames consuming the truck's cab and five vehicles ? including two Subaru Imprezas and a BMW with an estimated value of $100,000 ? the damage bill is likely to reach $300,000.
The 43-year-old Queensland driver was lucky to escape with his life after being pulled from his sleeping cabin in a daze by a passing motorist who noticed smoke coming from the front of the truck around 5.30am.
Suffering respiratory distress from the acrid smoke he inhaled while asleep, the driver was taken to Maclean District Hospital for observation before checking himself out on Sunday night.
According to police, the fire had smouldered and filled the truck's cab with smoke before the driver's rescuer, also a truck driver, managed to gain entry by opening the sleeping cabin door.
The rush of air from the open door fanned the fire, quickly turning it into a devastating blaze that consumed the prime mover and half of its load before the six fire crews in attendance could control it.
The coroner is only required to investigate the circumstances of any fire that causes more than $100,000 worth of damage.