TOLEDO, OH -- A Toledo Fire crew responding to an apartment fire needed help themselves after their engine hit a car, a tree, and a utility pole. It happened around 1:45pm at the corner of Ashland and Bancroft in central Toledo.
WTOL News 11's Dick Berry on the scene of the crash says two fire trucks were travelling westbound on Bancroft with lights and sirens going. He was told that a driver in a car pulled over and let the first truck pass, but pulled out in front of Toledo's Engine 7. The engine hit the car, then veered over and slammed into a tree and a utility pole, taking down wires at the intersection.
Berry says rescuers had to cut the top off the cab in order to free the four firefighters who were caught inside. Video from the scene showed them being taken away from the scene on stretchers. The driver of the car thought to cause the accident walked away unhurt.
Berry also says he saw Toledo Fire Chief Mike Bell on the scene, checking on his injured firefighters. So far, the injuries suffered by the firefighters are not thought to be serious. Deputy Fire Chief Robert Metzger said the only reason none of the firefighters were killed was because the cab of the truck was so well constructed. Metzger also said the truck itself was totaled.
There was also a spill of diesel fuel from the fire engine's tanks. City environmental crews responded and cleaned it up.
Engine 7 was responding to a fire at Wilson and Violet in west Toledo. That fire was in an apartment building, and the flames were knocked down in about 20 minutes.
According to the city of Toledo's web site, Toledo has had a professional fire department since the city council passed a resolution creating the department on November 27, 1837. These early firefighters were unpaid volunteers until 1868 when they were given full pay.
With a population now of more than 313,000 in the greater metropolitan Toledo area, the Toledo Fire Department says it currently employs 520 uniformed firefighters.
The department says it responds to over 45,000 incidents per year. 80% are emergency medical-related, while the other 20% are fire-related. The department also maintains a hazardous materials unit, water rescue unit, confined space rescue unit, and Homeland Security unit.
Count on News 11 to follow this story and update this report as soon as possible.