The city of Mount Airy has received more than $25,000 to cover damages to a fire truck occurring after a blaze in July.
“Our ladder truck caught fire on Rockford Street here in front of the fire station,” Chief Zane Poindexter explained Thursday.
This was due to a brake malfunction on the vehicle that occurred on July 26, Poindexter added.
Members of the Mount Airy Fire Department had responded to an incident that night at 823 Merita St. — located south of Fowler Street off U.S. 52 across from Thru-Way Shopping Center — in which an outbuilding caught fire due to trash being burned outside.
“It lost air pressure,” the fire chief said of the braking system on the ladder truck, which was utilized during that call. “We thought we had enough to limp it back to the station.”
However, as the vehicle neared that facility on Rockford Street, friction had built up sufficient to cause both sides of a rear axle tandem to catch on fire.
Personnel at the scene used extinguishers to put out the flames.
However, costly damage resulted, with the repairs paid for in full by Volunteer Firemen’s Insurance Services Inc. (VFIS), a firm that specializes in coverage for emergency organizations such as fire departments and rescue squads.
The municipality recently received a payout from the company, which required the passage of a budget amendment by the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners on Sept. 3 to account for the sum of $23,700 involved.
Poindexter pointed out Thursday that this figure has since been updated to a total of $25,687.
The ladder truck had been purchased by Mount Airy about nine years ago at a cost of $759,000.
Such vehicles have large ladders attached that can be extended, to 100 feet in Mount Airy’s case. This makes the trucks helpful in battling blazes involving taller or spread-out structures including hospitals and schools.
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.