Firetruck Burns in Indiana Wildfire

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LIBERTY, Ind. – Nobody was hurt, but the Liberty Volunteer Fire Department lost a truck while fighting a wildfire on Indiana 101 South.

Firefighter Matt Reuss, who was driving the small truck known as the “grass rig,” said firefighters already had applied two tanks of water to the fire and were on their way for a third load when the wind shifted.

“The truck died in the bottom of the field,” Reuss said. “I got it started and was driving uphill when (farmer) Kevin Pinkerton yelled, ‘Your truck is on fire.’”

Firefighter Jeff Moles, who was a passenger in the truck, said fire and smoke quickly surrounded the truck.

“I couldn’t even see Matt,” Moles said.

Moles and Reuss escaped the vehicle without injury, but the truck is a total loss, Chief Jim Barnhizer said.

“It’s about as totaled as it can get,” Reuss said.

The fire likely was sucked into the engine compartment through the engine’s air breather, Barnhizer said

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