1. #1
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    Talking dispatch, my fire truck is on fire

    Taking a 100' aerial platform truck to the local Detroit Diesel dealer to have the injectors worked on because the engine oil shows contamination and the level is about 3" overfilled. Halfway over the oil fill plug blows out and the oil spray ignites off the exhaust. The whole cab fills with smoke while I'm trying to get over to the side and shut things down. Two extinguishers later and the help of a pumper and were clear. Towed to the dealer and used the EPU to raise the aerial and cab. A mess but only six wires burned and some miscellaneous melted plastic pieces along with the spray foam insulation and its' Wednesday not a Monday. From now on I drain the oil down or just have it towed. 19 years and now this.Anybody else have these kinds of things happen?

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    That's pretty good....I got one too...only not as big or as expensive as a truck.
    Back when I was a volunteer in a rural county area (I must have been about 21-22yrs old), we were called to a grass fire. Anyway I was in an old 1980 something GMC pickup set up as a grass rig. As I drove the truck to get on the unburned side of the field I had to drive over some small fire(sure maybe I should have put it out before crossing). That fire was enough to find out where the gas leak was in the line going to the engine. Next thing I knew, one of the chiefs who saw this from a little ways back, got on the air and let me know I was on fire. I looked behind me and sure enough there was fire between the cab and the bed of the truck. So I got out and used the booster line to put out the fire and proceeded to the ground crew I was headed for. When all was said and done, the truck was sent to the shops for repair.

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    lvwrench....Was it Truck 4 or 7?....just being nosy.

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    Shortly after I joined my volunteer department, I was taking our reserve engine which was a 1980 Ford F-700 chassis out for a drive during a training night as we routinely do just to make sure they run okay as part of inspections...well, I accidentally left the parking break on, causing the drum to overheat and catch fire. I managed to get it out with an extinguisher, but upon calling for another engine to respond to my location...I was smart enough to avoid saying the truck was on fire...as calmly as I could, I asked for another engine to respond to my location to assist me with a mechanical problem. They were surprised to pull up to see me standing on the bumper with a CO2 extinguisher and smoke still rolling out from under the hood!
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    Before I joined the scene, Malahat had a similar experience. The Chief at the time was taking the old brush truck (70 something Dodge Powerwagon) to the shop for its annual inspection.

    Bear in mind that this truck had a long history of faulty electrical, mechanical and "others". Anyhow, he was headed into town when smoke started to come from the engine compartment. After pulling over and investigating, it was determined he had an engine fire. I dont recall enough of the details to give much more than that.

    However the truck was condemned and sold off shortly afterwards.
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    We too have had a truck catch fire. Our 98 Pierce ( I love Pierce, but this truck is a lemon) caught fire going to a call. There was an electrical short of some sort in the wiring for the Q. The boys said the cab filled up with smoke, the driver had to stick his head out the window to see so he could safely pull over. Then they had to put their own truck out. I wish they had let that one burn. We have also been on many a call where EMS pulls up and they are on fire. I can think of atleast 2 times we have had to put them out.

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    The late Jimmy Durante would say

    Dat's just mortifyin!

    but, as we all knew, excrement happens!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    During a training burn that involved not just my department but volunteers from our entire county, one of my ff's asked if something was wrong with the engine. I turned to look at the rig to figure out what he was talking about and I saw a smoke and flames ON TOP of the truck. One of our ff's had put a corn broom on top of the truck and it laid up against the generator and caught fire(also igniting the generator before we doused it).

    *hiking up drawers and sniffing in disdain (the image of Barney Fife comes to mind)* Yep.... we sure were proud.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GFDLT1
    We too have had a truck catch fire. Our 98 Pierce ( I love Pierce, but this truck is a lemon) caught fire going to a call. There was an electrical short of some sort in the wiring for the Q. The boys said the cab filled up with smoke, the driver had to stick his head out the window to see so he could safely pull over. Then they had to put their own truck out. I wish they had let that one burn. We have also been on many a call where EMS pulls up and they are on fire. I can think of atleast 2 times we have had to put them out.
    I used to work for a FD who had 2 1998 Pierces. They were both bad. Each was approaching 100K miles when I left there.
    Anyways, we went into a local trailer park early one morning after a LONG night and could smell electrical smoke.
    Took care of the call and returned to station still smelling. We had a faint haze in the cab.
    Jack the cab and find our electrical toasted. The alternator had something to do with it. I have more pictures of that truck cab up than I do in action or looking purdy.

    *Mark
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    Circa 1990.

    Our department's first ambulance.

    Deputy was showing some member of the citizenry the rig.

    We finish up washing the outside, the three of us go in the back which we're now wiping down, so we flipped the battery switch on to give us some lights.

    A couple minutes later smoke starts pouring out of the cab.

    The handheld spotlight had a switch on it that could be locked on, and was while the D/C was showing the rig and it's features to the visitor. Of course, the batteries were off so he didn't realize it had been turned on.

    The holder normally had the lens facing the console. So when we flipped on the batteries, we didn't see the spotlight was on. Those suckers get hot

    After that, our habit is to keep the lenses facing out even though the newer ones only have momentary switches.

    ===============
    And then there was the hot summer day we've just loaded a patient performing CPR.

    Driver drops the transmission into drive, goes to pull out of the parking spot in front of the apartment door, and we hear a noise and "smoke" starts to pour into and around the rig. Unload the patient while the driver & Firefighters pop the hood...turns out we just blew an A/C line...load the patient back in and continued transport but requested the ambulance that had been called to replace us still continue along our route to the hospital just in case anything else went!
    Last edited by Dalmatian190; 03-02-2006 at 10:18 AM.

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    We had a fire a few years ago, with our first due piece running for 4 or 5 hours with no problems. We finally get on to leave, 2 blocks later....it's on fire. Here it is about 5am on a weekday and we pull the truck over, shut it down, and everyone gets off. Homeowner walks out of his house looking at us a little curious. I walk up to him, he asks "What's the matter?". My answer, "Firetruck's on fire". He looks at me for a few seconds, then asks "Who does the fire department call when their trucks on fire?". I answer with "More firetrucks.......but very quietly." Dry Chem extinguisher put out the problem, didn't need to call for more trucks (only the Chief) and were able to drive it back.


    I also know of a company that got their truck on fire twice during one fire call.
    Last edited by Bones42; 03-02-2006 at 10:29 AM. Reason: Second story...
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    Default Detroit Problem ?

    Is this a common problem on the newer Detroits ? I've heard of three seperate instance in the past few weeks of "under hood" fires and all were Detroit powered, two different manufacturers so it probably isn't a manufacturing defect.

    Larry

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    A couple years ago, one of our county ambulances had an o2 fire while sitting in the stocking bay. There was a leak in the line that runs from the main on board tank where it passes behind the rear switch panel. Somebody flipped the master battery switch on and woosh. Luckily, it just ignited and they put it out before it exploded. Could have been quite the mess.

    Thats the only one I can think of of the top of my head.
    Last edited by Dave1983; 03-02-2006 at 02:04 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by REVANANT
    Is this a common problem on the newer Detroits ? I've heard of three seperate instance in the past few weeks of "under hood" fires and all were Detroit powered, two different manufacturers so it probably isn't a manufacturing defect.

    Larry
    Mine was on a engine from 1991, not quite sure that qualifies as "newer" detroit.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Mesquite, yes it was truck 4 and for the gentleman asking about Detroits yes it was a Detroit engine and a12.7 litre. We have had numerous problems with fuel injectors on these engines. We are going to start specing 14 litre from here on since they are supposed to have less problems.

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    When I was a probie, I was sent to fill some scba bottles. They were placed in the cab and one came loose, hit some wires and "poof" fire in the cab. I was able to pull over douse it resecure the bottles and continue on my way. We better protected the exposed wires and made room for spare bottles in a compartment from then on. We now have our own cascade system eliminating the need to go out of town to fill bottles.

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    I can't personally vouch for this one;

    Two members of a dept had volunteered to take an engine to a parade in another town. They did a thorough "preflight" and found the primer oil tank a bit low. They filled it with oil to the top. Unfortunately they did not notice the 'DO NOT FILL ABOVE THIS LINE" mark and decal on the tank. The tank was located about 24" above the exhaust pipe and when the oil got hot enough, it overflowed onto the exhaust pipe and caught fire. The fire was extinguished with little physical damage with the help of the engine behind them in the parade. The driver said he wondered why so many people on the parade route were yelling and wildly waving until he saw smoke and flames in his mirror.

    We were doing a three engine relay pumping operation and I was running the middle engine which was built on a 76 Dodge chassis with a gas engine. I was standing at the pump panel and smelled something electrical burning. I opened the cab door and saw the dash and instrument panel were slowly melting. A quick shutdown and a CO2 extinguisher saved the day.

    And last, I was at the Becker plant in Casper, WY and spotted a new brush rig on the lot the had suffered an engine fire that had spread to the cab. I was told the truck was within a few miles of being delivered when it caught fire. The dept it was sold to responded and put it out.

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