ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A postal truck caught fire last weekend in an east Orange County neighborhood and now the United States Postal Service is investigating the incident.
No one was hurt and no packages were lost during the fire.
The video showed the blaze along North Dancer Way on Dec. 31.
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“All we heard was the word fire and can you call 911,” Jeff Smith said, his wife shot cellphone video of the blaze.
Neighbor Jeff Smith and his wife couldn’t believe what they saw. They called for help after seeing flames flying through this USPS delivery vehicle on New Year’s Eve.
They said the postal worker did all she could to make sure no one was hurt.
“She was brave, she was a hero. Just to protect the houses and put the vehicle on the side of the road was amazing,” Smith said.
Smith calls the postal worker a hero for her selflessness when her truck started smoking.
“It was smoking as she went by our house. And at that point is when she pulled everything out unto the lawn.”
At this time, it’s not clear what caused the fire, but late last year, the Washington Post reported mail trucks, also known as “Long Life Vehicles” have a reputation for catching fire after years of overuse.
“She had told us there had been about 500 incidents of this across the country,” said Smith.
USPS released a statement saying:
“The Postal Service has one of the world’s largest delivery fleets which includes many vehicles that have been in service for 30 years or more. The NGDV (next-generation delivery vehicles) will replace many of these vehicles.”
The postal service said those vehicles could roll out as early as next year, but for now, they have maintenance schedules and inspection procedures in place for their remaining fleet.
You can read their full statement here:
On December 31, 2021 a postal delivery vehicle caught fire on Northern Dancer Way in Orlando. Fortunately, the letter carrier was not injured and no mail was damaged or destroyed. The incident is currently being investigated.
The safety of our employees is of foremost importance to the Postal Service. Vehicles that are purchased for operational use by our employees are required to meet all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). The requirement to meet all FMVSS requirements applies not only to the purchase of commercially built vehicles but also purpose built vehicles. In addition to these requirements, the Postal Service has implemented mandated maintenance schedules and preventive maintenance inspection procedures for the existing Postal Service vehicle fleet, including Long Life Vehicles (LLV), with the goal of making sure vehicles used by postal employees are safe to operate before they are used each day.
As you may already know, in February 2021, the Postal Service awarded a contract to Oshkosh, WI, based Oshkosh Defense, to manufacture a new generation of U.S.-built postal delivery vehicles that will drive the most dramatic modernization of the USPS fleet in three decades.
The Postal Service has one of the world’s largest delivery fleets which includes many vehicles that have been in service for 30 years or more. The NGDV will replace many of these vehicles, increase our capacity for handling mail and package volume growth, and will support our carriers with more efficient technologies, greater comfort and security as they deliver daily on behalf of the American people.