Mike Wilbur


MANCHESTER — Two fire trucks collided in the city Friday afternoon. The crash sent eight firefighters to the hospital, and severely damaged two fire trucks.

The fire trucks — Ladder 1 and Engine 11— were rushing from the central fire station to a reported porch fire on Arlington Street just before 12:45 p.m. Friday.

Firefighters were about six blocks from the fire, at the intersection of Maple and Bridge streets, when they collided with a Ford F-150 pickup truck.

American Medical Response, Inc., the city’s Emergency Medical Services provider, said it sent five ambulances to the crash.

District Chief David Patton said eight firefighters were hurt in the crash, and were taken to Catholic Medical Center and the Elliot Hospital. All eight were home by 5 p.m. Friday, and Patton said none would be out of work for more than about 10 days.

The pickup driver, whose name has not been released, was treated at Elliot Hospital.

The crash has severely damaged the two fire trucks, Patton said, and they may be beyond repair. Replacing both could cost the city between $1.6 million and $1.7 million— a ladder truck alone will cost $1.2 million, he said.

The city has three spare engines, Patton said, but does not have any extra ladder trucks.

In a news release, police spokesman Heather Hamel said an investigation is just beginning, and police have not yet determined the cause of the crash.

As for the Arlington Street fire, Patton said that fire had barely spread from a porch to a building when other firefighters arrived and put it out.

The crash knocked over a traffic light, but a public works crew made quick work of replacing the light.

Several nearby streets were closed Friday afternoon, including Maple Street at Lowell Street, and Bridge Street between Beech and Malvern streets.

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