August 22, 2014

Elyria
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74°F
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Wheels fall off Elyria fire truck

ELYRIA — Thrifty spenders may say they use equipment until the wheels fall off to demonstrate their willingness to work within budget constraints.

But the Elyria Fire Department proved that sometimes, it is actually done

They immediately switched mind-sets and formed a dike around the spill to prevent it from going into the sewers

The accident happened right around the corner from the Cedar Street fire station. Crews there then tried to jump into the next available truck and head out to the fire, but — as luck would have it — that vehicle wouldn’t start. Brlas said a crew ended up using the truck from Fire Station No. 2

Mechanics are working on both trucks.

Assistant Safety Service Director Jim Hutchson said there is a chance the $350,000 14-year-old truck can be repaired.

“It’s one of those freak things the way it just fell off. Whether it can be fixed is not fully known at his time, but a mechanic said it might,” he said

When asked why the department was using a 14-year-old truck, Brlas said that is typical as fire trucks are used for several years before they are decommissioned. That’s why the truck was being used as a backup. It has about 65,500 miles on it, Brlas said.“That truck is old and has definitely seen better days,” he said

Mayor Bill Grace said old vehicles are used all over the city. In this particular case, the truck had major work done in the last two years and most of the parts that broke Tuesday were replaced at that time

“We had experienced problems with this vehicle before in that area and thought we had it fixed,” he said. “It’s frustrating when something like this happens, but I’m thankful that no one was hurt.

Brlas said the firefighters were equally as shocked

“No one saw this coming,” he said. “If you listen to the radio traffic that went on when the guys realized the truck was tipping over, it is evident that this was just a freak coincidental accident.”

Grace said only time will tell if the truck is replaced

“It’s not a primary piece of equipment and if the mechanic can make safe repairs, we will balance that verses the alternative of possible replacement,” he said.

As far as the fire, Brlas said the two-and-a-half story residence was gutted.

The breakdown did not affect the outcome as the fire started at 3:18 a.m., and the broken down truck was sent out about 5 a.m. to relieve crews already at the scene

The home was vacant as of a week ago because it was recently purchased by a nearby business. All of the utilities were still on

Brlas said fire investigators are still working on a cause

Crews from North Ridgeville and Carlisle Township were brought in to assist battling the blaze while the Lorain and Avon fire departments filled in at Station No. 1.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 653-6268 or lroberson@chroniclet.com.

 
TOM MAHL / CHRONICLE
The rear wheels fell off an Elyria Fire Department ladder truck.