Blackfoot Valley Dispatch - The Blackfoot Valley's News Source Since 1980

By Roger Dey
Blackfoot Valley Dispatch 

Blazer ablaze

Fire destroys junked SUV


August 8, 2018

Roger Dey

Ron Arambarri and Kevin Grantier cool down the remains of the burned-out blazer.

An apparent electrical short in a Chevy Blazer Jed Hinkle was preparing to take in for scrap ignited fire that destroyed most of the vehicle monday morning, Aug. 6.

Hinkle, owner of Pete's Towing, had removed the battery from the vehicle and was preparing to move it from his yard when the fire started. He pulled the SUV out into his driveway, away from the other vehicles and buildings and called 911.

Aaron Birkholz, assistant fire chief for Lincoln Volunteer Fire Rescue, said he saw the smoke plume by the time Hinkle made the call and both he and Fire Chief Zach Muse were on site within three or four minutes, by which time the rear of the blazer was already fully ablaze.

"It went fast, I mean to tell ya," Hinkle said.

Roger Dey

Ron Arambarri uses the Fire Department's Thermal imager to check for hot spots.

Hinkle had emptied all four of his fire extinguishers on the SUV in an attempt to knock the flames down, but he said they had no effect. Birkholz and Muse nearly had the fire out with the LVFR's new large water extinguishers, but they also ran dry before they got the job done.

Birkholz said he was going to get their regular extinguishers when a Montana DNRC brush truck pulled in and knocked the flames down.

Lincoln fire fighters brought in the big rescue truck and put the department's extrication tools to work as they pried apart remains of the chassis to ensure there were no pockets of heat or flame lingering in the various nooks and crannies within the frame.

No other vehicles or structures were damaged in the fire, although a section of grass and a pair of old coveralls were burned.


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