Idaho firefighters injured when truck hits gas can, burns
Aug. 22, 2017
ARIMO, Idaho (AP) — A firetruck ran over a gas can and caught fire, sending two Idaho firefighters to a hospital with serious burns as they fought a wildfire threatening homes, authorities said Tuesday.
The University of Utah Burn Center in Salt Lake City said Downey volunteer firefighter Matt Henderson was in critical condition and Kent Winward was in serious condition.
The gas can fell from the truck Monday and exploded in flames when it was run over and ignited by embers from the fire near Arimo in southeastern Idaho, officials said.
Another firefighter, Brandon Call, was treated and released at an Idaho hospital.
"They were backing up when they ran the gas can over, and it ignited," Downey Fire Chief Chris Sorensen told the Idaho State Journal (http://bit.ly/2wkmmVf ).
The truck was in an area that had already burned and embers ignited the gasoline, he said. It was not clear why the gas can came loose.
Henderson, Winward and Call were initially transported to the Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello.
Clint Hussey, an auditor for the Downey Fire Department, said Henderson suffered burns on 40 percent of his body. Sorensen said one of the firefighters also broke a leg.
Initial reports indicated the truck was on fire for a short time before another firefighter alerted the three occupants and they fled. The firetruck was destroyed.
Officials said the fire grew to about 6 acres (2.5 hectares) on Monday and was contained about an hour after the firefighters were injured. No structures were lost and there were no evacuations.
Firefighters from several agencies, including the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, fought the blaze.
In an unrelated incident, Idaho State Police said a U.S. Forest Service firetruck rolled onto its top on Interstate 84 on Tuesday in south-central Idaho. There were no injuries.
Sharla Arledge, spokeswoman for the Idaho Department of Lands, said the truck that burned had been given to the state agency by the U.S. Department of Defense in 2013.
It was later passed to the Downey Fire Department, which added equipment to make it a firetruck.
Information from: Idaho State Journal, http://www.journalnet.com