A town of Harrison firetruck suffered significant damage to its front end after it slid down a steep, icy private road and rolled over Sunday afternoon.
Town Manager George “Bud” Finch said the driver, veteran volunteer firefighter Maurice Kautz, suffered minor cuts and bruises but was not seriously injured.
However, the amount of damage sustained by Engine 4 was significant, Finch said. He said the town will need to figure out some way to replace the first response engine on a temporary basis until the damage can be fixed. The firetruck was fully insured.
“He (Kautz) is an experienced older driver, but the road is very steep. We’re just happy that no one was hurt,” Finch said Sunday evening.
According to Finch, Engine 4 was sent to Harrison Heights Road around 11:55 a.m. to investigate a report of a carbon monoxide detector going off in a home in a private development located on top of a hill overlooking the lakes region.
Finch said the road had been plowed, but “limited” amounts of sand had been spread over it. It was determined that the carbon monoxide detector had malfunctioned.
Engine 4 was returning to the fire station when Kautz started to lose control of the truck. He applied the brakes, but Engine 4 continued to slide down Harrison Heights Road and across Route 35, where it rolled over into a wooded area.
Finch said in a news release that while the road was slippery, the firetruck may also have experienced a mechanical problem that affected its brakes.
Finch said Engine 4’s front chassis sustained heavy damage but there was very little, if any, damage to the truck’s firefighting apparatus, located at the rear of the vehicle. Engine 4 is a 2002 model firetruck.
The accident is being investigated by the Bridgton Police Department.