The first ride in Travis Brannan’s new-to-him 1980 red Chevy pickup did not go as planned Tuesday afternoon.
Brannan said he was driving through the parking lot of the Best Western Tower West Lodge in Gillette on his way to an adjacent gas station when the truck died.
By the time he stepped out of the cab and looked under the hood, flames had already sparked. Minutes later it was fully engulfed in flames, right outside of the hotel.
Brannan was alone in the truck and no one was hurt during the incident.
Campbell County Fire Department Battalion Chief Kate Eischeid said firefighters were alerted to the fire at 3:16 p.m. By 3:28 p.m., the flames were out.
There were two cars parked near the truck when it caught fire, but neither appeared to be damaged, she said.
The sky was clear, but the winds were heavy, which she said helped the fire spread more quickly.
Six Fire Department personnel and one engine responded, Eischeid said.
Once extinguished, the formerly red truck was a burnt-out shell of itself. The front end was completely blackened by the fire, with the front left tire completely melting off. However, the red paint remained on its back tailgate.
Brannan said he had bought the truck about a month ago from his niece, who was happy to have kept the truck in the family.