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News Story
Updated: 12/02/2017 08:30:04AM

Truck explodes in drive through

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CASEY MITCHELL/COURTESY PHOTO

Tony Portee and his friend, Barbara Allen, narrowly escaped this truck before it burst into flames while sitting in the drive-through lane at Wauchula State Bank in Lake Placid on Friday afternoon.

KIM LEATHERMAN/STAFF

The burned out shell of Tony Portee's 1986 Dodge Ram truck after it caught fire.

By KIM LEATHERMAN

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LAKE PLACID — Tony Portee and his friend, Babara Allen, were depositing Portee’s paycheck from Smokeshack restaurant on Friday afternoon at Wauchula Bank at 102 E. Interlake Blvd. They were sitting in the drive-through when a passerby started yelling that Portee’s 1986 Dodge Ram pickup truck was on fire. Portee thinks the fire must have started at the bottom of the truck because he didn’t see anything when the man notified him.

“I saw the smoke, but no flames,” Portee said. “I was parked so close to the wall that I had a hard time getting out of the truck. I had to squeeze out of the truck through a very small space. The passenger door has to be opened from the outside so I ran around to get Barbara out. We got just a few yards away and the truck exploded. I just thank God that we were not on the road driving around somewhere.”

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