The Abilene Fire Department had their hands full fighting several fires along the train tracks running through parts of North Abilene, this afternoon. While working at one location, several Firefighters found themselves lucky to get out unharmed, after their brush truck rolled over.
"There's a flame going up, something has been burning right there for quite some time," describes Sammie L. Harrison, who lives 2 blocks away from where the fire sparked along the train tracks.
He was like many on lookers, wondering what was burning along the tracks. Some in the area say the fire seemed to start not long after a train passed by. "The train went by, [when] we just heard the fire started. We saw the smoke and came down here and here it was," reflects David Bontke. Bontke was at work at The Bontke Brothers Construction when the fire started near the outer edge of their lot.
While the cause is unknown the Fire Department isn't ruling out, nor confirming, that the blaze may be related to the passing train.
However, what happened during the fire caught many off guard. While a Fire Truck was crawling through thick brush, toward the flames, it unknowingly hit a low spot causing it to roll over. "It gets deeper, and as they were trying to cross over the tracks to get over to where the actual fire was," explains Lt. Greg Goettsch of the Abilene FD. "The water shifted in the tank, threw all of the weight over to the other side of the vehicle, and it just laid over."
One of the Firefighters became trapped under the truck for a quick moment, but the Firefighters were able to get him out quickly. He was loaded into an ambulance and transported to Hendrick along with the two other Firefighters from the truck. Fortunately, all three were released from the hospital in good condition.
Here's the latest on the injured firefighters, according to Lt. Goettsch
- 26-year veteran Lt. Guy Turner was treated and released.
- 26-year veteran Firefighter David Standard was treated and released,
- Firefighter Scott Slack was also treated and released. Slack has been with the department just two years.
The Abilene Fire Department adds that while the brush truck will be out of commission until it's repaired, they still have plenty of trucks and personnel to respond to any grass fires in the future.