Indiana, 14, puts out truck fire

St Mary’s College student Indiana Ridgely helped try to extinguish a burning garbage truck.
St Mary’s College student Indiana Ridgely helped try to extinguish a burning garbage truck. Shona Mulholland

WHEN you are handed a name like Indiana you have a duty to live up to the image of a person who can handle any situation.

That's probably why 14-year-old Bauple boy Indiana Ridgely took it in his stride yesterday when a flaming garbage truck rolled down the street in front of him.

He was the first on the scene when the Fraser Coast Regional Council truck burst into flames outside his house, and helped the driver try to extinguish the fire.

“I was outside waiting for the school bus, and I saw the garbage truck come sneaking up,” he said.

“I said ‘do you want a fire extinguisher?' and the driver said ‘why?'.”

The two rear tyres had burst moments earlier, spilling hydraulic fluid on to the brakes which then ignited – and the driver was oblivious to the smoke coming from the back of his vehicle.

So the Year 9 St Mary's College student ran inside to call the fire brigade and grabbed his own extinguisher to help fight the rapidly spreading flames.

“Then the other tyres all started to pop, and the fire started to spread to the garbage inside,” Indiana said.

The brave schoolboy watched as the Bauple rural fire brigade struggled to contain the flames, and Maryborough firefighters took over the job.

Queensland Fire and Rescue Service Maryborough acting station officer Shane Goodall said the firefighters could not over-ride the truck's controls to open up the garbage compartment.

“They ended up using the jaws of life to make access into the compartment,” Mr Goodall said.

A council spokesman said the damage bill was yet to be calculated but Bauple and Mungar residents should expect their rubbish to be collected a little later on its usual day until the truck was repaired.

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