Return to sender: Aging mail trucks bursting into flames

NORTH HAVEN — A mail truck that burst into flames Wednesday at a Washington Avenue gas station is the latest in the aging fleet that has been destroyed by fire in recent years.

The North Haven Fire Department extinguished the U.S. Postal Service vehicle and no one was injured at the Exxon station.

“Firefighters were able to keep the fire contained to the vehicle with no extension to the fuel pumps or building,” department officials said.

Hundreds of aging mail trucks have burst into flames in recent years nationwide, according to a review of U.S. Postal Service documents and public news reports.

The fires in the aging fleet of Grumman Long Life Vehicles have usually started in or near the engine compartment, according to an internal 2014 Postal Service memo, reported. USPS investigations revealed the causes included failed fuel system components and overloaded wiring, reported.

“We are grateful for the prompt actions of the first responders on the scene and appreciate their efforts today on our behalf,” USPS spokeswoman Maureen Marion said Wednesday afternoon. “Postal inspectors joined first responders on the scene and they recovered all mail on the scene. Damage to the mail itself was extensive and very little, if any, appears to be salvageable at this time.”

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