Three Abilene firefighters were treated at Hendrick Medical Center on Wednesday afternoon after the brush truck they were using to fight a grass fire tipped over on an embankment along railroad tracks near North 13th and Almond streets.
The firefighters involved in the incident were Lt. Guy Turner, a 26-year veteran of the Abilene Fire Department, firefighter David Standard, also a 26-year veteran, and firefighter Scott Stack, who has almost two years of service.
One of the injured firefighters was driving the brush truck, and the other two were riding in the back, spraying water on hot spots.
One firefighter was trapped for a short time, said Abilene Fire Lt. Greg Goettsch.
Two had been released from the hospital by 8 p.m. Wednesday, and the third was expected to be released by the end of the day.
All were treated for minor injuries that likely include plenty of bruises and scratches, Goettsch said.
“It’s good news. It’s pretty dangerous when something like that happens,” Goettsch said. “It’s a rarity. Our guys are really good at what they do.”
Old railroad ties burning along the tracks emitted thick plumes of black smoke, making it difficult for the firefighters to see into a deep, uneven ditch, Goettsch said.
That, coupled with the weight of the water the truck was carrying, caused the truck to lose balance and tip over. The trucks carry as much as 1,000 gallons of water, Goettsch said.
Fire officials, Fire Department mechanics, Abilene police officers and city risk management personnel were called to the scene.
Two bulldozers from nearby Bontke Brothers Construction helped clear the area, and a large wrecker worked for some time to set the brush truck right.
The truck was badly dented and had smashed lights and side-view mirrors.
The well above the right front wheel was cracked, but the truck largely appeared to be in good condition.
Wednesday’s accident is the first Goettsch can remember in the department in at least 20 years.
There have been some stories of rollover incidents in the ’50s and ’60s passed around by firefighters, but nothing recently, he said.
The grass fire was quickly contained and did not involve any structures or vehicles.
Fire officials believe the fire, and a second, smaller grass fire near North 10th Street and Treadaway Boulevard, may have been caused by a passing train but are not certain, Goettsch said.
Tags: firefighters, fire, brush truck, embankment, tip over, inured, wounded, hospital, spraying water, rollover, fd, caught, cam, tape
Location: Abilene, Texas, United States (load item map)
Marked as: featured
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