Minnesota truck driver starts from scratch after losing possessions, livelihood in fire

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A Minnesota truck driver lost his possessions and livelihood after his truck caught on fire while he was driving in Nebraska.

Now, he’s trying to rebuild his life.

For the last four years, Sandy Nelson has not only driven a semi truck, he's lived out of one. So, to see his livelihood and his belongings go up in flames was quite the shock.

“What I retrieved out of there was my headset because I needed to call 911 to let them know," he said.

Other than the clothes on his back, Nelson can hold the rest of his belongings - a jacket and a cell phone - in his hands.

"It’s terrible. Now I know how people feel when their apartments get robbed. They lose most of the stuff they had in that apartment or in their house," he said.

Back in May, Nelson was driving a semi truck full of almonds from California to Minnesota when the truck caught on fire as he crossed the border from Wyoming into Nebraska. Nelson, who was basically living in his truck, lost almost everything.

"I've never been a person who has a lot of stuff, and to have a few things like that… it was devastating to watch the stuff go up," he said.

J&R Schugel, which owns the truck, said the cause of the fire was equipment failure, and both the semi and everything on it were destroyed. But, it wasn't until August that the New Ulm trucking company agreed to reimburse Nelson for the cost to replace his possessions.

"I feel all right about it,” he said. “I don't like that it so long for them to do something I think is the right in my book."

Nelson now works as a delivery driver and said it’s been tough to get back behind the wheel, but it's been even harder to rebuild his life considering all he's lost.