by Dennis Dalman
A flaming vehicle caused a 90-minute closing of 30th Avenue N. in LeSauk Township north of Sartell on the morning of Jan. 5.
A vehicle with smoke billowing from it was reported at 6:19 a.m. near 17th Street N. and 30th Avenue N. The driver of the vehicle, a 2001 Dodge Caravan, was Joseph Sowada, 48, of Albany. He told those at the scene the vehicle had backfired many times and then began smoking.
When he stopped the vehicle, he noticed a small engine fire that quickly grew into a large fire. Sowada was the sole occupant of the vehicle; he was not injured.
The Sartell Fire Department doused the fire, although the vehicle was totally destroyed by the flames and smoke.
Officials kept 30th Avenue closed because of possible danger to other motorists keeping the road open to emergency vehicles only.
Author: Dennis Dalman
Dalman was born and raised in South St. Cloud, graduated from St. Cloud Tech High School, then graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in English (emphasis on American and British literature) and mass communications (emphasis on print journalism). He studied in London, England for a year (1980-81) where he concentrated on British literature, political science, the history of Great Britain and wrote a book-length study of the British writer V.S. Naipaul. Dalman has been a reporter and weekly columnist for more than 30 years and worked for 16 of those years for the Alexandria Echo Press.