Terry’s main fire rig burns in Wednesday morning fire

Cleanup work was under way Wednesday at the Terry fire
hall after a fire started in the cab of the town’s main fire rig.
Officials expect the rig to be a total loss, which leaves the town
temporarily with a fire engine. 

By Elaine Forman
Yellowstone Newspapers

    The Terry Fire Department lost its main rig in a fire at its fire hall midday Wednesday, according to Assistant Fire Chief Matt Payne.

     The building houses the fire hall and town hall.

Payne said Town Council members were in the building when they smelled and saw smoke. They called the fire department at 11:36 a.m., and Paine said when he arrived the fire hall was completely filled with smoke. The main truck itself was on fire.

      All of the vehicles were quickly evacuated, then the firefighters fought the fire.

    City and county fire departments store their water tanker, wildland fire engines, a rescue truck and two ambulances in the garage.

     The fire was confined to the cab of the 1993 fire engine. The engine simply was parked in the garage when the fire started. No work was being done on it. 

     Since there is no public water in Terry, there are no fire hydrants, which makes fire fighting difficult, but the fire was completely out after 30-45 minutes, Payne said.

     He explained that on initial examination, there seemed to be no fire damage to the building or other vehicles, and the damage seems to be limited to smoke damage. 

     The 1993 engine is “out of service” and “I believe it’s beyond repair,” he said.

     They are waiting for an insurance adjuster to verify that. 

     A fire marshal will investigate the fire.

   The city has one other fire engine, but it is also “out of service.” Payne said they are working on getting a loaner.

      Payne said the Prairie County Sheriff’s Office, city and county fire fighters and neighbors who saw the trouble all came to help put out the blaze.

     Two Miles City Fire and Rescue firefighters and a Montana State University fire trainer also responded. The trainer was in the area at the time.

     “I’m extremely pleased with the way the people responded. It certainly could have been a lot worse,” he said.

Published July 23, 2014

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