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Firefighters douse truck fire near Osage

Firefighters' visibility into the hood of a truck fire was hampered by heavy smoke Tuesday afternoon. (Sarah Smith/Park Rapids Enterprise)

Park Rapids firefighters responded Tuesday to their third vehicle fire in 2009.

They say that's not a good start to the New Year.

Shortly after 1 p.m., a truck owned by Kevin Byer of rural Osage burst into flames.

"I was out in the garage working when the horn went off," Byer said. He'd returned an hour earlier from snow plowing in the 2002 Ford truck. He said there were no problems with the truck while he was working.

He's not sure if a propane heater sitting on the passenger seat ignited or if the plow itself overheated.

The sunflower heater wasn't on at the time, so he's not sure how the fire started, but he raced out of his garage to see his truck engulfed.

Firefighters battled thick smoke that could be seen for miles before extinguishing the blaze. The truck is a total loss.