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WEBXTRA: Former Big Sandy firefighter helps driver after vehicle catches on fire

After having his car catch fire in motion, an East Texas motorist is thanking his lucky stars that a former Big Sandy firefighter just happened to be driving be
Published: Jan. 30, 2022 at 4:58 PM CST
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BIG SANDY, Texas (KLTV) - A vehicle bursts into flames along an East Texas highway, but luckily a former firefighter was traveling in the area and went into action.

It happened around 11 Sunday morning as vehicle was heading westbound on highway 80 just a couple of miles from Big Sandy in Upshur county.

The car was a roaring inferno by the time Big Sandy fire crews arrived on scene, and they quickly made a perimeter around it to protect passing drivers and nearby residents.

It all started when a westbound driver pulled over to the shoulder when he saw flames shooting from his hood. A former East Texas firefighter just happened to be in the area, and spotted the driver.

“As I pulled up the vehicle had just started to be on fire. Got out of my vehicle, made sure driver was the only occupant, everyone else was safe. Got a hold of dispatch and made sure the Big Sandy fire department got out here,” said Ken Danapas.

A former longtime member of the Big Sandy fire department Danapas, who now lives in Indiana, was in town for his daughters birthday.

But seeing what was going on, his firefighter instincts kicked in.

“I assisted in getting the truck company going and aiding them anyway I could in fighting the battle,” he says.

And as the vehicle was engulfed, there was a danger element to Danapas as well as anyone around it.

“People don’t think about is the explosions that occur. The tires that will explode, but you also have airbags, and the contents of the vehicle, in this case there was a portable air canister that blew up.

Trying to keep pedestrians away and traffic away is the main concern,” Ken says.

The vehicle was a total loss, but no one was injured.

After having his car catch fire in motion, an East Texas motorist is thanking his lucky stars that a former Big Sandy firefighter just happened to be driving be

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