As a news story, the disaster that befell a 162,000-square-foot chemical plant in Waxahachie, Texas, on Oct. 3, 2011, might have remained local to the nearby Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex save for one factor – dramatic video of a tower ladder fire truck being consumed by flames in less than five minutes.
A rush of burning liquid suddenly swept through several open loading dock doors, spilling down an incline, said Waxahachie Fire Chief David Hudgins. The tower ladder was positioned at the bottom of the incline.
"The liquid just went under the truck and set it on fire," Hudgins said.
Video from a news helicopter showing flames engulfing the truck made the national news and went viral on the Internet. Fortunately, the firefighters onboard the vehicle made good their escape, including two riding in the extended bucket only moments before.
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