Tractor Trailer Fire Nov 30th

I was sitting at home watching tv, on call for work, when I heard the FD get toned out for a tractor trailer fire, westbound I-44 just west of Sullivan. I grabbed my camera and flashgun, and Missy and I headed for the truck. I took the north service road and arrived right behind Pumper 854…they were stretching the attack line as I pulled up in the roadway, and with no one behind me, I took the first few photos from inside the warm cab of my pickup. This was a food service tractor pulling two trailers and the pup trailer had a flat tire on fire, about to extend into the trailer itself….

01 Pup Trailer Tire on Fire

Cody Martin was on the nozzle once again….

02 Cody and Gary Attack Fire

…and had his work cut out for him…tires do not extinguish easily at all….

03 Cody and Gary Attack Fire

04 Cody Sprays Down Tire Fire

05 Cody Sprays Down Tire Fire

…Cody moved during this next photo and I came out with a ghost image of him still trying to put out that stubborn tire fire…he did a great job keeping it from extending into the floor of the empty trailer and eventually applied enough water to put the fire out….

06 Ghost Images

…a few minutes later, more help showed up from Station One and Bourbon Fire Department arrived as well…by this time I was parked off road and talked to the driver, who told me that the pup trailer was empty and the first trailer was full of Subway sandwich products…he said he apparently had a blowout but did not become aware of it til it caught fire and he saw the flames and pulled over. 

07 Checking Trailer For Extension

08 Drowning The Tire

09 Mangled Tire




Vacant Mobile Home Fire on Smith Lane

Late Thursday night, Aug 28th, I heard Bourbon`s tones drop for a mobile home fire on Smith Lane, north of Bourbon, so I grabbed my camera and flashgun and headed out the door, Missy close on my heels. As we started down the interstate, I heard Sullivan`s tones drop to assist Bourbon with a pumper and tanker. As soon as I exited the highway, I fell in behind a Bourbon pumper headed north to the fire and shortly after was passed by a firefighter as well. Once I neared the turn off to Smith Lane, I observed a huge glow in the sky from the fire. After parking a few hundred feet back, along the roadway, I walked up and talked to Steve Kimker, who stated it was a vacant trailer that had been scrapped earlier in the day, and was now simply a pile of wood scraps on fire….

On The Ground on Arrival

..leaving firefighters with the simple task of dragging hoselines around and putting out hot spots….

Firefighters Douse Hot Spots 2

Firefighter Douses Hot Spots 3Firefighter Douses Hot Spots





Residential Structure Fire in Cuba

As I was getting ready for bed Friday night, August 22nd, I heard Bourbon Fire District toned out to assist Cuba Fire District on a first alarm residential structure fire at 607 School Street, so I grabbed my camera and flashgun and headed for the truck. Within a few minutes, I heard Sullivan and Steelville get toned for the second alarm, so I figured it must have been going pretty good, as Cuba struck the second alarm fairly soon after the first alarm. I arrived and parked half a block away and walked down the street to find a two story home with heavy smoke coming from the second floor windows and several firefighters fighting it from the roof of the porch above the front door….

01 2nd Alarm Cuba Fights From Above Front Porch

…I didn`t stay long in this spot as I was pretty close to the attack pumper and there was a huge tree in the front yard blocking the view of the house as well, so I moved over to the west side of the house a few minutes later and within seconds, the flames broke out thru the roof and windows on the back side of the house….

02 Heavy Fire 2nd Floor West Side

03 Heavy Fire 2nd Floor Erupts

..and within a few minutes of fire breaking through the roof, firefighters pulled an inch and a half line over to the west side to get some water on it…

05 Heavy Fire Breaks Thru Roof

07 Heavy Fire Breaks Thru Roof & Wall

08 Heavy Fire Shoots From Roofline

09 Heavy Fire Thru Roofline

…while over there, I was talking to some area kids who told me that everyone was able to safely evacuate the residence in time….

10 Heavy Fire

…and within moments, the entire roof of the residence was well involved in heavy fire….

11 Vantage Point on West Side


…I walked back to the front of the house to snap a few from that view point…..

17 Heavy Fire From Roof in Front

…and saw the huge fireball continue to grow from the roof of the home….

18 Front of House

…so Cuba firefighters decided to try and hit the fire with their deck gun on their attack pumper….

20 Deck Gun Attack to Roofline

..which did knock down the amount of fire at the front of the house, but within minutes it came back even stronger on the west side and rear of the house…due to the angles of the roofline, it was hard to get a good angle to where firefighters could hit the flames with a stream of water and huge trees hampered the use of their aerial ladder truck as well….

21 FF`s Attack West Side Again

…firefighters on the west side resorted to climbing a ground ladder and spraying their line inside the double windows at the second story, which again, temporarily knocked down the heavy fire inside….

22 Concentrated Attack 2nd Fl Window

…before leaving, I took a photo of Cuba`s newer ladder truck, similar in design and like Sullivan`s, built by Sutphen out of Ohio, with a different color and paint scheme…one of Metro West`s former trucks….

25 Cuba Ladder Truck




Trailer and Truck Fire Near FF Overpass

Sullivan Fire District received a call late in the afternoon on July 21st to respond to westbound I-44 and assist the Bourbon Fire District with a pickup and trailer fire. I had heard the original call go out to Bourbon and failed to get out there on the first call, wish now I had, because I prob would have had some photos with flames in them. By the time I got there, Bourbon had the fire knocked down and Sullivan assisted in mopping things up…

Fire Scene 222.2 marker I-44 WB 2

Fire Scene 222.2 marker I-44 WB

Firefighters Extinguishing Truck Cab 2

…and while Bourbon`s guys were able to take a break and clean up their gear and equipment, Sullivan`s crew led by Captain Cody Martin, continued to mop up and extinguish hot spots in the trailer….

Bourbon FF`s Cleaning Up

…here Cody assists Eric Lindemann on the hoseline…

Cody Assists Eric Lindemann with Hoseline

…and then takes the nozzle himself….a rare treat for Captains these days….

Cody Sprays Down Bed Contents

Cody Sprays Down Bed Contents 2

…with assistance from Billy Harris….

Billy Assists Cody on Trailer

Cody on Nozzle Cools Down Trailer

Cody on Nozzle Cools Down Trailer 2

Elm Street House Fire

For some reason, I woke up early on Saturday morning of the MAGS Club Rock Hunt……luckily I went to bed early Friday night though and got some good rest, which I would need since we were scheduled for three separate site digs that day. I started hearing a lot of police sirens right before the fire tones dropped for a residential structure fire, and then a police officer arrived to report heavy smoke at the rear of the house. I quickly dressed and grabbed my camera and headed out the door. Missy decided to stay home and sleep instead. The house was only about six blocks from my home, and I arrived to find exactly what the police officer saw, heavy smoke from a two story wood frame house at the corner of North Olive Street, firefighters on scene and inside with one hoseline, and a ladder set up at the front upstairs window….


 Joe Thurmond was also on the scene when I arrived, at first I thought it was one of his rental homes, but he said it wasn`t…..I walked around to the Olive Street side of the house and shot a couple from that side as well, where flames were through the roof on the back side of the house….

Arrival 2


and then back to the very front of the house where I remained for awhile as more firefighters and trucks showed up. Firefighters inside were having a difficult time reaching the upper story fire due to several ceilings in the older home and flames eventually vented from both sides at the eaves of the house….


Sullivan`s Ladder Truck showed up soon after and crews decided to use the ladder to access and vent the roof….


…Damon Sumpter drove the truck to the scene and operated the ladder, taking great care to raise the ladder up and above overhead power lines, however there were power lines surrounding the house, so crews had to wait til Joe Thurmond returned with a bucket truck to shut power off to the lines, enabling Damon to lower the ladder to the roofline…




…and Joe returned as fire began blowing out the west eaves of the roofline like a blowtorch…. 



…and while Joe was setting up his truck, ground crews hit the heavy fire with a handline….



…and as Joe headed up to the power pole, the fire once again vented from the west end eaves….




…and as he was shutting off the power and cutting off the front lines, they ground crews hit the fire once again…. 



…and Damon was able to slide Jimmy Smythe, shown on the end of the ladder here, over to the roofline to chop a hole in the roof near the peak to properly vent it…



…and soon after, Nolan Crawford made his way across the ladder to join up with Jimmy at the roofline….





Dawn began breaking as they finished opening a hole on the east side of the roofline and moved over to the west side to open a hole there…









…and as Jimmy kept on chopping with the axe, the fire underneath him grew more intense, as you can see at the vent on the west side eave…

















…and as the fire intensified, Nolan pointed to the west, indicating to Damon that they needed to move to the right more….



…by this time, I noticed the smoke getting lighter which indicated to me that the guys were doing an excellent job of bringing the fire under control…and it was now 7 am and time for me to scoot…so I took a few more and headed home to head south. 









Early Morning House Fire Late March

For some reason, I didn`t hear the initial page early in the morning on the 28th, was sleeping pretty good I guess, but then woke up on the second alarm page, for a house fire north of town at the intersection of Little Boone Creek Road and Hardecke Road, although it wasn`t paged like that…turned out to be the Tourville Residence and there were several fire trucks there when I arrived to photograph it for the local paper…..

01 Arrival 2nd Alarm


02 Front of House


…although you can`t see him, Jimmy Smythe was operating the pumper and drafting water from the drop tank….

05 814 Drafting


…there was heavy damage to the front of the house, crews said later it was coming out like a blowtorch on arrival….

09 Heavy Damage to Front

Brush Fires in March, too.

There were even more brush fires in March, however, I was only able to photograph one of them….Highway 185 North by Cave Springs Church, rolled up to find Drew on the nozzle chasing down flames in a grassy field…

Drew Extinguishes Fires 1


Drew Extinguishes Fires 2


Drew Extinguishes Fires 4


Drew Extinguishes Fires 7


Marko had it easy…he was driving the truck. 🙂

Brush fires in February

We had a few nice days of warmth and sunshine, and one guy decided to do some burning early, while another set his wood stove ashes out and forgot about the wind when it came up. First call was on Landon Road, out near my parents, so I decided to forego a nap and drive out to see how bad it was…it was about a block from them and I stayed to shoot some photos for the local newspaper….guy was burning brush piles for his brother he told me, and it got away from him, luckily it stayed on his brother`s property….

02 Arrival


…Dave Konys and his crew hit it pretty fast on arrival, with leaf blowers, which you can use quite effectively in grassy fields to blow the fire out….

06 Dave Uses Blower


07 Dave Uses Blower


08 Dave Uses Blower


09 Dave Uses Blower


10 Dave Uses Blower


…Dave had his hands full with the south side of the fire til Ray joined up with him on the east side….

11 Dave and Ray Blow Out Fire


12 Dave and Ray Blow Out Fire


I left shortly after and returned home to get a nap in….woke up a couple of hours later by a passing fire truck, Dave`s crew once again, responding to assist Bourbon Fire Department on a brush fire with a barn in danger of catching fire on Strothcamp Lane off Hwy AE. When I arrived behind Bourbon`s second pumper, I found several large round hay bales on fire and initial crews were out in the woods containing the sixty acres of natural cover fire. The farm owner, Norman Ruwwe, was assisting Bourbon`s crew with pulling the bales out away from the stack, with his tractor….

01 Norris Ruwwe on Tractor


…and doing a very good job of it I might add….

02 Norris Ruwwe on Tractor


…those things are very heavy and when they catch on fire, you have to be very careful in rolling them out, to either extinguish them with alot of water at your disposal, or simply letting them burn out on their own…either way, the danger is getting close to them to get them away from the stack…a tractor with a front end loader or hay spike is a good way of doing so safely, however the downside is one has to eat a lot of smoke…Mr Ruwwe pulled the first few out into the open where firefighters could get ahold of them and push them on out with their pike poles, and then they took over with their crews after he made it very easy for them to get into the stack and pull the others out……

03 Dozen Round Bales Burning


04  Bales Flare Up


06  Bales Flare Up


08  Bales Flare Up


Sullivan`s initial response was with a brush truck, pumper, and tanker….

09 Pumper 814  & Tanker 813


Beaufort Leslie Fire District also responded with a brush truck and crew, and once Sullivan`s brush crew came out of the woods, everyone joined together to work on the bales….

11 BFD and SFD Team Up


12  BFD and SFD Team Up


15 Purtting Water on Some Bales


18  Eric Works Bales Fire


…it`s much easier to let them burn up if you have a good burn area around them, as there was in this case, and all you have to do is help them burn by pulling off layers to get to the unburned hay as Eric is seen doing here….

21  Eric Works Bales Fire


22  Eric Works Bales Fire


23 Eric and Chase Work Bales


…all in all, it was a good team effort by all those on the scene…after all, twelve large round bales is no easy feat, so everyone involved had a good workout….

26 Team Effort


27 Team Effort


…and even managed to create some art while fighting fire….

28 Team Effort Art


30 Team Effort Art


35 Art


34 Team Effort


38 Bale Art


39 Team Effort


41 Team Effort




St Clair Historical Museum Consumed by Fire

A week ago Sunday night, I was sitting here watching tv when I heard Central County Fire Alarm tone out St Clair Fire District for a possible house fire in the area of their Main Fire Station…a few minutes later, as firefighters arrived at their Main Station, they apparently looked half a block down the street behind their station and from what they saw, they struck a second alarm working Commercial Structure Fire. I grabbed my camera and scanner,  as Missy and I headed for the truck and headed east to St Clair. I also heard Sullivan Pumper 854 dispatched by Franklin County to assist St Clair by moving up to their Station One and standing by, in case they received other fire calls. As I passed under our east overpass, I observed 854 at the stop sign on top of the overpass…a move up is usually a casual, non emergency drive to the fire district you are moving up to. 

Missy and I arrived at St Clair`s Fire Station One about fifteen minutes later, twenty minutes after St Clair arrived on scene and struck their second alarm…I found a parking spot and left Missy to guard the truck, grabbed my camera and walked to the scene, half a block behind the Fire Station. As I walked up on the scene, I came upon a couple of St Clair firefighter friends, Dale Sullivan and Brian Hinson,  visited with them a bit, and they gave me some background on the fire.

This was the St Clair Historical Museum, the two story heavy wood frame construction building was believed to be approximately 125 years old, and it was obvious there was a lot of heat and fire trapped under the corruguated metal roof on the second floor….

02 Soon After Arrival


…as you can see in the image above. there is a breach from the roofline down to the ground along the wall, and within a few minutes, flames broke out near the second floor level….

06 Fire Vents N Side at Roofline

…the firefighter walking across the street in the image above with the white helmet, is Les Crews, St Clair`s new Fire Chief, who came on board around the first of the year…Les is a great guy and has about forty years of firefighting and command experience, getting his start with St Clair around the same time I started with Sullivan. Soon after the flames vented the sidewall, firefighters scrambled to re-position a hoseline to knock it back down….

08 FFs Begin Aggressive Attack


…and you see St Clair firefighters climbing up on the porch roof to access the upper story windows, to knock out the glass panes which would enable Union`s Ladder pipe to spray a heavy volume of water inside the front of the building….soon after, St Clair`s Ladder Truck positioned near the back of the structure, and Union`s Ladder Truck positioned near the front of the building, to prepare for a massive surround and drown operation, what they call an exterior attack.

11 Trying to Get a Foothold


14 Fire Building Up Once Again

On their arrival, St Clair firefighters entered the ground floor of the building and climbed the stairs, only to be met with extreme heat and heavy fire buildup on the second floor, which forced them back down the stairs and out of the building…the age of the building and metal roof worked against them in providing heavy fuel loads and holding in the heat and fire…an exterior attack was the only option left to fight the fire. As the fire began to build again, a couple of St Clair firefighters climbed their seventy five foot stick and tried to find some spots to access the fire with their ladder pipe stream….

15 Fire Building Up Once Again


15 Firefighters On Ladder


18 Firefighters On Ladder


…and even though firefighters were up there for a bit, they were unable to find any access points for the ladder pipe stream….while up there, the color of the smoke changed quite a few times, depending greatly on what was burning inside the museum….

21 FFs on Ladder...Smoke Shifts


20 FFs on Ladder...Smoke Shifts


…and then they came back down the ladder….

24 FFs Coming Down Ladder


…and their ladder was re-positioned and lowered to the side of the building, possibly to aid in the attack on the side of the building where the fire vented earlier….

26 Still Trying to Access Fire


…and in the next image, you see Union`s Ladder Truck positioned at the front of the building and directing their Ladder Pipe Stream into the front of the building through the second floor windows….

27 Union Ladder Hits Front of Bldg


…within a few minutes of the Ladder Pipe assisted exterior attack at the front of the building, heavy fire vented out the back of the building at the roofline…..

30 Fire Blows Out Back of Bldg

32 Heavy Fire Vents Roof at Rear


36 Heavy Fire Vents Rear Roofline


37 Heavy Fire Vents...Ladders Flow


40 Heavy Fire Vents...Ladders Flow


42A Trying to Regain Control


…pretty soon the fire began growing as it vented out the back wall and roofline, and within a few moments resembled a blowtorch and even sounded like one…I was standing in a vacant lot across the street talking to the Electric Lineman who had just finished disconnecting the power at the pole behind the building…he would have been real close to those flames had he still been there and we could easily feel the heat coming from those flames where we were standing, approximately fifty feet away…..believe me, he was very glad he had finished the task when he did….

43 Trying to Regain Control


47 Heavy Fire Blows Out Back


48 Heavy Fire Blows Out Back


…you can see the ground hoseline streamline coming up from the left and aimed up and over the heavy fire, to give the Ladder operators some protection as they realized the need to re-position the ladder and hit this growing body of fire….the next image shows the fire coming out like a blowtorch….

51 Heavy Fire Blows Out Back


52 Heavy Fire Blows Out Back


..and as the Ladder moves around, a ground hoseline crew positions behind the Ladder Truck to assist in hitting the heavy fire as well….

53 FFs Concentrate on Rear Flames


55 FFs Concentrate on Rear Flames


56 FFs Concentrate on Rear Flames


59 FFs Concentrate on Rear Flames


61 FFs Concentrate on Rear Flames


64 FFs Concentrate on Rear Flames


65 FFs Concentrate on Rear Flames


67 Hose Crew Fights Fire


68 Ladder Crew Fighting Flames


…within a few minutes, fire started breaching the metal roof all over the place, front, back, and sides…

70 Fire Vents Front & Back


72 Fire Vents Front & Back


73 Ladder Pipe Attack

….everyone on the fireground and everyone watching figured it was all over and just a matter of time now…because most exterior attacks do not turn out well at all and most result in one thing only….a burned out shell of a building….but all of the firefighters on scene persisted and stayed the course, putting up a great fight, never letting up front, back, and all around….

75 Flames Flare Back Up


76 Union Ladder in Operation Again


80 Flames Again Venting


81 Flames Again Venting


82 St Clair Ladder Operating


…and within thirty minutes, this fire was brought under control and crews were able to begin mopping up, and much more than the shell of the building remained standing….

84 Under Control & Salvaging Records

Firefighters were also able to enter the back door off the sidewalk and remove some file cabinets as well, trying to salvage some records for the museum staff, however many physical historical items and displays were a total loss.  

Firefighters from Union, Boles, Pacific, Cedar Hill, and Sullivan assisted St Clair with the operation and were on scene for some time throughout the night.