Eastbound traffic on Route 17 in the town of Union backed up for a time this morning after flames engulfed a plumbing company van.

Authorities say the fire was reported at 9:40. The burning vehicle was stopped on the right shoulder of the highway near the Westover exit.

Endwell fire chief Jeff Winchell says the driver and a passenger in the van were able to get out of the vehicle without injury.

Winchell says the driver told firefighters he noticed a "big cloud of smoke" behind the truck before pulling off the roadway.

The fire started in the van's engine compartment and spread to the dashboard. Heat from the blaze melted the seats in the vehicle.

Winchell says two lanes of the Southern Tier Expressway were shut down for about 20 minutes because of the fire.