Major fire destroys classic car

Hesston Record – March 19, 2015
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – April 9, 2015

Click on each photo to view full-size image.

Click on each photo to view full-size image.

hesston fire 492015b

hesston fire 492015c

The Hesston Fire Department rolled out several units and called for mutual aid in a structure fire that destroyed a 1957 Ford hardtop convertible and one-third of a metal building on Sunday evening.

According to Hesston Fire Marshal Bob Meijer, the fire was simply an unfortunate accident.

“We had an individual with a controlled burn last Friday morning. He finished his controlled burn Friday afternoon. Evidently some embers were glowing at the bottom and caught the grass on fire around his area. And, with the wind, got close to an outbuilding that caught fire.

“It’s just really dry. The day he burned, he called in to dispatch and got it approved. Friday was OK and then the wind picked up. Those embers will glow for days,” he said.

Meijer said the building was already involved when Hesston responders arrived.

“It was pretty significant. We kept it to the east third of the structure. It was a very large metal building with the inside separated. There was one third that was a shop area separated by a wall. The other two-thirds we were able to save the contents,” he said.

Firefighters were able to save a car, three trucks, three mowers, a snowmobile and a number of small personal items.

“The workshop area had the car–a ’57 Ford retractable hardtop. It’s a pretty rare car,” said Meijer.

However, Meijer said he would not put responders at unreasonable risk for a vehicle.

“It was very hard to access because it was so hot and charged with smoke. We weren’t going to risk the lives of our guys to save a car. When you’ve got it that fully involved on one end and access is bad, and smoke is from floor to ceiling, you’ve got to get the smoke out before you can get in,” he said.

Miejer said while it did not take long for the fire to engulf a large portion of the structure, it took significant time and effort to put out.

“Within minutes, he realized he had a problem and called us. The page came in about 6:20 p.m. and we got out of there and equipment cleaned up about 1:30 a.m.,” he said.

Meijer added Hesston responders were dispatched to the scene again after a hotspot of tires reignited. The tire ignition did not cause any additional losses or damage.

Responders from Halstead, Moundridge, Newton and Walton were all called to work the scene.

%d bloggers like this: