Timothy Moore
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U.S. Postal Truck Catches Fire in Cali, Burns Up 120,000 Letters

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Score one for the internet as email once again proves to be more effective than snail mail, this time in that it doesn’t catch fire. Yup, that’s all it takes these days to be better than snail mail: incombustibility.

U.S. Postal Truck Catches Fire

U.S. postal truck catches fire, burning 120,000 pieces of mail.

Unfortunately for pretty much everyone and their grandmother in Orange County, California, who licked a stamp on Monday, their mail is probably not going to reach its destination. That’s because a U.S. postal truck managed to rear-end a semi on the 57 freeway, which inexplicably caused a gigantic fire. (Maybe there was an unidentified Porsche 911 GT3 involved? Hey-oh!)

The regrettable accident, which took place around 1:30am on Tuesday morning, caused around 120,000 pieces of mail to burn to dust, leading some (okay, just me) to wonder if the USPS was merely preparing for a wide turnout to this year’s Ash Wednesday services. Among the victimized mail were likely bills, letters, and birthday cards (with now burned-up Washingtons, if the cards were any good). These pieces of mail came from a processing center located in Santa Ana and likely contained all non-local letters from ZIP codes beginning with 906, 917, 918, 926, 927, and 928.

The fire from the mail fiasco ended up shutting down northbound lanes for several hours and involved a private contractor for the USPS, who was uninjured. By 6:30am of Tuesday morning, all but one lane had reopened; all lanes were open by 7:30am.

The U.S. Postal Service will offer documentation of the fire to anyone who gets dinged with penalties and late fees, although they’ve been mum on whether or not angry grandkids can demand more money from Gam-Gam for their birthdays when their cards don’t come in the mail on time.