Mike Wilbur


BREMERTON — A South Kitsap Fire & Rescue engine slid off a narrow road west of Gorst on Wednesday.

No one was injured, but it took a couple of hours for a tow truck to pull the vehicle free, said Battalion Chief Jon Gudmundsen.

The engine’s crew was on the way to help a homeowner who had asked for assistance in changing smoke alarm batteries in a device up high out of the homeowner’s reach, a common request, Gudmundsen said. The fire district’s service area extends west of Gorst.

 The engine was traveling on Minard Road, off Old Belfair Highway, with another vehicle approaching from the opposite direction. The engine hugged the right side of the road to provide clearance for both vehicles and the roadway crumbled, causing the engine to tip off the roadside, Gudmundsen said.

The engine tipped further, nearly onto its side, as the driver tried to move it forward and back onto the road, according to Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Faucett. “That’s when the rest of the road crumbled.”

There was no visible damage to the fire engine, Faucett said. The engine, which weighs about 30,000 pounds, required a special tow truck from Bethel Towing to pull it free.

The engine, one of the newer vehicles in the fleet, was sent to the dealer to assess for any damage to the undercarriage or frame and to make sure it’s safe to operate.

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