Fire at Vidor Valero station

Fire at Vidor Valero station

A young woman and her 4-year-old nephew narrowly escaped a blaze that engulfed a pickup truck and a gas pump at the Valero gas station on Main Street in Vidor Feb. 15, reports the Orange County Fire Department.

According to Fire Chief Bryant Champagne, firefighters were dispatched at about 4:10 p.m. in reference to a fire at the Valero at 1010 N. Main St. Firefighters arrived on the scene shortly after to discover one pump and the pickup truck the young woman had been driving fully engulfed in flames.

“The patron said she was filling up at the pump and turned away from her vehicle,” Chief Champagne explained, “and when she turned back around, the truck was on fire. It was a young lady and her 4-year-old nephew.”

When the woman realized the vehicle holding her nephew was on fire, she immediately ran to extract him from the vehicle, said the chief. They both escaped into the gas station. The patron alerted gas station personnel to the fire, and the emergency pump shutoff was activated, cutting off fuel to the pumps.

Champagne said the fire spread to the hose on the gas pump and residual fuel inside the hose leaked out, expanding the affected area.

“Only the fuel in the vehicle and the residual fuel from the hose burned, and I believe two pump islands and the pickup truck were damaged.”

Firefighters quickly brought the blaze under control, said Champagne, and the business reopened later that evening, minus the gas pumps. As of Feb. 17, the damaged pump had been removed but yellow tape still prevented customers from fueling up their vehicles.

Vidor Police Chief Dave Shows was at the scene directing traffic while the fire raged.

“The fire was so large, I could feel the heat of it on my back while I was on the street directing traffic,” said Chief Shows.

According to Shows, the young woman left a wallet with cash on the seat of the truck when she escaped. The currency inside the wallet was slightly singed but still intact.

The woman and child were treated at the scene by EMS but were not injured.

Firefighters are still trying to determine what caused the blaze.