Town Creek firetruck destroyed in Thursday fire

A scorched frame and charred debris are all that remains of a Town Creek firetruck that caught fire in a burning wheat field on Thursday. Town Creek Fire Chief Donna Campbell said no one was injured in the incident.

A Town Creek firetruck was lost in a blaze Thursday afternoon as firefighters battled a wheat field fire at a Posey Farm property, according to Fire Chief Donna Campbell. 

No injuries were reported from the incident.

Campbell said her department and Hatton Fire Department were called to the scene on Old Donald Road around 1:35 p.m. She said firefighters with each department fought the blaze for about half an hour before the 3,000-gallon pumper truck went up in flames around 2 p.m. 

“There were several causes—wind gusts and it was so hot and so dry,” she said, describing the moments before she jumped from the truck. She said she was atop the truck pumping water from a deluge gun before the vehicle became engulfed. 

“I got back in to move the truck, but you can’t just throw those things in reverse and get out of the way,” she said. “Flames just shot up.”

Steve Posey, owner of Posey Farms, said a small fire had started on the property while the field was being harvested for wheat. He said a component of a combine harvester had gotten too hot and ignited the crop.

“We had a water tank in the field,” he said. “The fire was uncontainable. It was so dry, as soon as they’d get the fire out, another one would pick back up.”

Posey said at times during the incident, flames seemed to reach 15-feet high. He said about 20 acres of a 2,500-acre wheat operation was lost in the fire. 

“It wasn’t devastating for us, but I hate the fire department lost a truck,” he said. “They’ve always been good to us, and we want to try to support them however we can.” 

Campbell guessed her department lost over $350,000 including equipment.

“The truck alone is over $300,000. We had six air packs on the truck and hose. Those air packs cost about $4,000 each,” she said. “We are not looking for a brand-new truck. The insurance will hopefully cover a used truck and equipment.”

Town Creek Mayor Mike Parker said the fire department had two operable pumper trucks, but the town plans to replace the one lost in the fire. 

“It was an unfortunate accident. The main thing is we had no firemen hurt,” Parker said. Equipment can always be replaced. People can’t.”

Campbell said she was grateful to Hatton and Red Bank fire departments for assisting. She also thanked Greg’s Ambulance Service and 911 dispatcher Amanda Haddon. 

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