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Pickup truck catches fire on U.S. 431

Truck fire

A truck smolders alongside U.S. 431 in Saks on Friday morning. (Tim Lockette/The Anniston Star)

A pickup truck caught fire on U.S. 431 in Saks as commuters were headed to work Friday morning.

Heath Gillilan of Guntersville was headed north on the parkway around 7:40 a.m. when his truck’s engine burst into flame near where U.S. 431 crosses Alabama 21. Neither Gillian nor Anniston police said they knew the cause of the fire.

“It just started smoking. Then all of a sudden flames started shooting up,” Gillilan said.

Gillilan is co-owner of H & H Services, a Guntersville construction company, and has spent the past few weeks in Florida, clearing brush in the wake of Hurricane. He was part of a three-truck convoy on its way back to Guntersville.

“We’ve been living out of these trucks, more or less, for weeks,” he said. Gillilan said he salvaged some chain saws from the truck but left other equipment.

Firefighters were on the scene within minutes. A few minutes after they arrived, a red gasoline container lay on the ground near the truck. A police officer said the container may have been pulled out of the cab by firefighters. The officer said there was a larger diesel tank in the truck’s bed.

No one was hurt in the fire.

Capitol & statewide reporter Tim Lockette: 256-294-4193. On Twitter @TLockette_Star.