CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A trip to the mall turned into a close call with disaster for three people Wednesday afternoon.
As the group was eastbound on Interstate 64, they tell WSAZ.com they noticed flames in their rearview mirror. The back of their truck had caught fire.
Brittany Gossett was inside the car when the fire broke out and said she could hardly believe her eyes.
"Oh my God, the truck is on fire, the truck is on fire," Gossett said of the experience.
The fire started about 3 p.m. Wednesday.
The driver, George King, pulled over at the Virginia Street exit off I-64 East where everyone inside was able to run away from the car.
"I exited the vehicle and within 10 to 15 seconds the tire in the back of the vehicle exploded," King said.
Fire crews later extinguished the flames and said a cause could not be immediately determined.
"There was nothing there to ignite it, so we don't really know what started it ," Charleston Fire Battalion Chief Tim Roe said.
King said he believes someone may have unintentionally thrown a lit cigarette into the back of his truck while driving on the highway.
The truck, which was almost brand new, is a total loss.
The group said despite the harrowing experience, they are grateful no one was hurt.
"It's so scary. I have four children," Gossett said. "I feel so thankful."