Connecticut engine burns in brush fire


Kent fire engine burning
Kent, Conn. fire engine. March 30, 2011. Photo: Ed Matson

And you think you had a bad day.

The Fire Marshall of the Kent, Connecticut fire department said their engine pulled into a field to attack a fire and the truck stalled. The wind shifted and pushed the fire toward the truck, igniting it. Firefighters staffing other equipment put out the brush fire after it burned eight acres.

In an attempt to find the the bright side of the event, the Fire Marshall said the cost of replacing the engine, estimated at $450,000, will be covered by insurance and there were no reports of injuries.

Hopefully Wednesday’s misadventure will not dampen the Kent Fire Department’s centennial. They are celebrating 100 years of service to the community in 2011. Congratulations on 100 years.

UPDATE at 10:00 a.m. MT, April 7, 2011

The loss of the engine has created controversy in Kent, Connecticut.

Typos, let us know HERE, and specify which article. Please read the commenting rules before you post a comment.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

6 thoughts on “Connecticut engine burns in brush fire”

  1. The reliable scuttlebut is that they went to engage the pump, failed to engage the pump, and also couldn’t shift it back into road.

    Winds were light; predominantly from the southwest but the weather station nearest Kent was reporting them as “variable” at 2pm so it’s a good chance they did pull up to fire doing not much of anything that then took off with a wind gust.

    I wouldn’t feel in personal danger in a typical field fire in CT this time of year — assuming they got a 3rd cutting of hay off in the late summer, the grass is low enough even with a good wind behind it you just walk through the flame front to the black. I’ve also worked those fires with an Indian Tank and when the wind gusts that’s pretty futile (you just wait a minute for the wind to slacken, then continue knocking it down).

    So I can see how, it just the wrong combination of circumstances, once they had a truck that couldn’t pump they may not have had time for Plan B and be able to protect it with extinguishers.

    1. Dalmatian 90, first lets start off by saying the rig that burned is not a Truck its a Engine Trucks have ladders..2nd a fire extinguisher would not have protected the engine from any kind of flames and 3rd light winds and light fuel is one of the most dangerous combos…you really need to check yourself..Be Safe

    2. On their 100th anniversary the Dept should look closely at their training. Procedures to operate apparatus and pump water should be examined. Are those procedures correct and are firefighters trained in a way that supports safe operations?

      All firefighters should be trained to engage the fire safely even if they get an unexpected wind shift on a “typical” fire in CT any time of year.

      It seems like a bad combination of circumstances but…….. Do we ever get unexpected wind shifts on fires? Training firefighters to engage from the black will reduce the number of engines that burn up due to unexpected wind shifts and mechanical issues.

      Congratulations indeed…tack $500,000 or more on to the anniversary activities. One fifth of that would go a long way in training.

      1. Well said AZ firefighter. Thanks this is a major problem every where and needs to be handeled. Attack from the black and not the green. Be safe.

  2. The Texas Forest Service Video “Attack from the Black” hasn’t made it that far east yet.


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