County snowplow fire may cause some plowing delays

Print Article

  • One snowplow truck inside the Sanders County Beaver Creek shop was completely destroyed and others were damaged in an unexplained fire Jan. 27. (Photos courtesy of Lisa Wadsworth)

  • 1

    Damage to the Sanders County roads shop at Beaver Creek only hints at the destruction inside.

  • One snowplow truck inside the Sanders County Beaver Creek shop was completely destroyed and others were damaged in an unexplained fire Jan. 27. (Photos courtesy of Lisa Wadsworth)

  • 1

    Damage to the Sanders County roads shop at Beaver Creek only hints at the destruction inside.

A fire starting in the engine compartment of a parked snowplow truck destroyed that vehicle and caused substantial damage to the Beaver Creek county shop building and other snowplows Sunday, Jan. 27.

“The snowplow was a total loss,” says west-end Sanders County Commissioner Tony Cox. He explained that because there were walls separating three different bays, the fire had not spread through the entire building, but the heat scorched tires, lights, decals and even interiors on some of the other trucks, and there was significant smoke damage throughout. One truck had a partially melted seat.

The truck that caught fire had been parked in the shop at 10 a.m. the previous Friday. Trucks are loaded with traction gravel and then parked in the heated shop so the gravel is not frozen and can be disbursed on the next run.

A passing motorist called in the fire when they saw smoke pouring from the building and an electric door that apparently was shorting out, as it was going up and down. Quick response from Thompson Falls and Trout Creek Rural Fire Departments, some of whom were also employees of the county shop, got the fire knocked down and two trucks moved to prevent more damage. They used a front-end loader to peel back a door when the electric opener was damaged from the heat.

Cox says they should be able to keep up with the plowing of county roads, though it might take a little longer each snowfall.

“We had to scramble to find enough trucks and shop capacity to store them,” said Cox.

The county is now operating three trucks from the Heron shop, two from Beaver Creek, and two from Noxon, where Avista and Montana Department of Transportation are loaning garage space.

“We hope people will be understanding if the plows don’t run exactly on the schedule you’re used to. We will still get the school bus routes first,” Cox said.

Insurance investigators have not yet determined the cause of the fire.

Print Article

Read More Front Page Slider

Member of ‘The Walking Dead’ Marine unit recalls deadly battle from April 1967

April 17, 2019 at 8:06 pm | Clark Fork Valley Press James H. Stogner had his sights set on becoming a U.S. Marine even before his teenage years. His father was in the service, and he had a mindset of following in his footsteps. “I wanted to be a Ma...

Comments

Read More

Detention Center closed County proposes alternative uses for facility

April 17, 2019 at 12:22 pm | Mineral Independent Mineral County officials met on Friday, April 12 to discuss proposals for the Detention Center’s future following its temporary closure in February. “The can got kicked down the road two more weeks,...

Comments

Read More

Noxon’s Stogner receives Navy Cross Medal

April 11, 2019 at 6:23 pm | Clark Fork Valley Press James Stogner of Noxon received the prestigious Navy Cross Medal during a special ceremony Friday afternoon, April 5 at the VFW in Polson. Lance Corp. Stogner served in the U.S. Marine Corps duri...

Comments

Read More

Bison Stampede raises funds for Dixon School

April 10, 2019 at 5:46 pm | Clark Fork Valley Press Sparkling spring morning, enthusiastic crowd, spirited runners, and mud — a great combination for the fifth annual Dixon Bison Stampede, bringing the community of Dixon together last Saturday. The s...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 826-3402
105 W. Lynch
P.O. Box 667
Plains, MT 59859

©2019 Clark Fork Valley Press | Mineral Independent Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X