A truck driver is sending out thanks to those who helped rescue his feline companions after a serious vehicle fire in Virginia on Monday.
The incident occurred around 4:30 p.m. on Monday in Spotsylvania County, Virginia.
A 35 year old truck driver was hauling a load of 40,000 pounds of rolls of paper north on I-95 at mile marker 125 when his 2022 Freightliner experienced a mechanical problem that caused the truck to crash and catch fire, according to Virginia State Police.
Tractor trailer fire on I-95 at the 125 mile-marker in Spotsylvania County around 4:30pm. No injuries. The truck fire caused traffic delays for over 3 hours. #VSP video credit: Jack Sumlera pic.twitter.com/Ew9RWTKmoB
— Allison Papson (@AllisonPapson) March 30, 2021
The truck driver was able to escape without injury, but his two cats Smokey and Bandit were still inside the cab, which was engulfed in flames.
“Crazy enough, the driver of the tractor trailer, while engulfed and prior to the vehicle exploding, did his best to safely rescue his two cats from the burning cab. With the owners blessing, he wanted to express his sincere gratitude to all first responders and civilians that came to his aid yesterday and also for ensuring that his furry loved ones received the veterinarian care that they ended up getting,” the Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post.
Both Smokey and Bandit survived the fiery ordeal and are doing well, “especially Bandit, considering the fact that he was completely ablaze prior to first responders arrival.”
“We may not know the names of the kind citizens who helped locate him yesterday, but we can tell you that the owner is eternally grateful. Hold your loved ones, human and animal, tight. Make sure they understand their worth!” the post reads.
Transportation officials were eventually able to fully reopen I-95 shortly before midnight after relocating the paper rolls to dumpsters, where they could be more easily extinguished.