Trucker recalls devastating fire

TRUCKER David Arlow today spoke of horrific moment his lorry burst into flames on the A14 – and lost everything in a vehicle he considered home from home.

TRUCKER David Arlow today spoke of horrific moment his lorry burst into flames on the A14 – and lost everything in a vehicle he considered home from home.

The blaze in the flat-bed articulated lorry brought traffic to a standstill on the dual carriageway on the Port of Felixstowe Road at Trimley St Mary.

Flames shot 20ft in to the air as the cab erupted, turning in to an explosive furnace which melted the road surface.

Mr Arlow, 52, said: "I was just leaving Felixstowe when the wipers came on for no reason, the pedal went down to the floor and the power cut out."

Quick as a flash, Mr Arlow sensed something was wrong.

He immediately opened the door, picked up some of his belongings and threw them out of the vehicle before jumping to safety – within a few seconds the whole lorry was ablaze.

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"After running down the road to get out of the way I didn't go near it again as it was that bad. It just happened so quickly and you can't really explain it," he said.

"There was nothing I could do and after the incident I was in a bit of shock – if I had been asleep in the truck, well it doesn't bear thinking about – the lorry was a complete and utter mess.

"But it could've been worse – at least I'm still here."

The fire last Friday afternoon was so fierce that small tins of beans and sausages, which were inside the truck, had exploded out onto the nearby embankment.

However his efforts to salvage some of his prized possessions ended in ruins.

"I was left with nothing. I spend more time in that lorry than I do at home – but that's all gone now, which is really sad," said Mr Arlow, who was treated by paramedics for smoke inhalation at the scene but didn't go to hospital.

"It annoyed me as I had 30 years of maps from across Europe, a television, CD player, fridge, CDs and clothes all inside, and everything I'd thrown out of the lorry was burnt as well."

Mr Arlow, driver and company director of DK Trans Ltd, which is based in Pinbush Road on the South Lowestoft Industrial Estate, has driven lorries across the country for over 30 years.

Earlier he had made a delivery to Argos in Doncaster in his white Renault Magnum, and after Felixstowe was set to make a pick up at Woodbridge.

Mr Arlow, who lives in south Lowestoft, was picked up by one of his drivers, who was caught up in the traffic hold-ups. He is now looking forward to getting back behind the steering wheel.

Firefighters told him the likely cause of the blaze was an electrical fault.

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