Frankfort fire engine needs repairs after engine catches on fire
FRANKFORT — A firetruck with the Frankfort Fire Department is out for repairs following an electrical fire within the truck itself, according to Frankfort Fire Chief Eric Congliaro.
The 1995 combined engine and ladder truck was parked at the fire station on Litchfield Street at about 6:40 p.m. Friday when members of the neighboring Schuyler Fire Department needed to use the station for back-up, Congliaro said. Schuyler had been dispatched to a vehicle fire on the Thruway and needed a truck from Frankfort.
When the volunteers arrived at the station, “there was a decent amount of smoke in the truck bay,” the chief noted.
The alarm was raised for a possible structure fire at the Frankfort fire station, the chief said, and a thermal imaging camera was used to pinpoint the smoldering heat in the engine compartment of the old truck.
Unfortunately for the firefighters, the best way to reach the engine compartment was to raise the truck cab, and the only way to raise the truck cab was to raise the ladder first — none of which was possible given the fire damage to the engine, Congliaro noted.
Fortunately for the firefighters, the engine fire had burned itself out.
“It was out. It smothered itself out,” the chief said. They were able to access the engine via some special compartments in the side of the truck, and he said “it was smoldering.”
The damage was done and the truck was put out of service, Congliaro stated. On Wednesday, it was picked up and towed to a repair shop in Syracuse. The chief said it will be up to the insurance company to determine if repairs are possible or if the apparatus will need to be replaced.
“It is a vital piece of equipment to our community and our county,” the chief noted. As a small ladder truck, he said the vehicle comes to the aid of many neighboring agencies because it can go where larger ladder trucks cannot.
The 27-year-old truck has long since exceeded its recommended lifespan, the chief said, but replacing the apparatus is not such an easy option.
“That’s been the plan for seven years,” Chief Congliaro said of replacement.
A new truck in that style would cost about $1.3 million, the chief said, which is no simple an amount of money for a volunteer fire department.
The chief said they will have to wait and see what the insurance company decides, and rely on help from neighboring departments for the foreseeable future.
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