Today a pickup truck pulling a horse trailer caught fire while ascending a steep grade on Highway 18 a couple of miles west of Hot Springs, South Dakota. When it started I was all set to go out to Wind Cave National Park to take some photos, but I diverted to the fire instead. The truck was fully involved and was a total loss before the fire department arrived. So there was no point in risking anything, to save what amounted to nothing, at least where the pickup truck was concerned. I don’t believe there was much, if any damage to the horse trailer.
While the firefighter with the turnout gear and hard hat was applying water on the driver’s side with what looked like a one-inch line (I could be wrong on the size), the left-front tire popped about eight feet away. He backed off, and while he collected himself, the gentleman in the long sleeve shirt, sneakers, and jeans took over the nozzle.
While we appreciate what our volunteer firefighters do, providing an invaluable service to the community with no salary, we would appreciate them even more if they took the time to put on personal protective equipment and breathing apparatus, and then select a 1-1/2″ line when attacking a vehicle fire — especially when a fully involved vehicle is already a total loss upon their arrival. Risk a lot to save a life. Risk nothing to save nothing. We want them all to return home safely after working a fire.