The ambulance crew had just dropped off a patient at the hospital and were cruising back to the base across the James Island Connector when they smelled smoke.
“By the time they pulled over there were flames,” said Dun Lundy, Charleston County Emergency Medical Services director. The crew bailed and called for help. But within minutes the engine and front end of the truck were burned unrecognizable. The walls of the patient bay were toast.
The disaster this afternoon destroyed the $200,000 ambulance and equipment and tied up early commuter traffic all along the connector from Charleston to James Island.
But the crew was safe and no patient was aboard.
“Thank God,” Lundy said. The ambulance was one of the newer ones in the fleet, he said, only about three years old. “We have no idea what caused it. We haven’t had an ambulance catch fire in 25 years,” he said.