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Firefighter injured, salt trucks damaged in ODOT garage fire in New Richmond

Posted at 5:21 AM, Mar 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-07 19:09:19-05

NEW RICHMOND, Ohio -- A two-alarm fire engulfed an Ohio Department of Transportation garage and damaged six snow plows and a loader inside Tuesday night, officials said.

"All of the equipment within the structure, every bay is filled with a truck. They were all involved in the fire,"  New Richmond Fire Chief Vince Bee told WCPO Wednesday.

ODOT hasn’t been able to get inside to assess whether the vehicles and the building are a total loss, according to Brian Cunningham, public information officer for ODOT District 8. In the daylight, it was clear that part of the roof collapsed on at least one truck.

Fire officials are still investigating what started the blaze about 8 p.m. on old U.S. Route 52. One firefighter was taken to the hospital with an eye injury.

No one was working in the garage, Cunningham said. The facility is used only periodically for snow removal. If there are more winter storms this month, ODOT will borrow plows from other counties, Cunningham said.

Cunningham suggested it wouldn't be a burden on ODOT if it's necessary to replace the plows.

"Ultimately we may have to replace some vehicles, but we do that every year. It's just a fact that the work we do things wear out, need to be replaced," he said.

Bee said getting to the fire was a problem.

"Access was a problem, with the garage doors, we had to cut through those to gain entry," Bee said.

Once they got in, crews made quick work of putting out the fire.

"We were able to make an aggressive attack of the fire and get it under control in a relatively quickly manner for the amount of fire that we had going on," Bee said.