Resourceful firefighter uses garden hose to douse vehicle fire

CHESTERTOWN — Using what he had on hand — a garden hose and a tank of water — a Chestertown firefighter extinguished a vehicle fire Tuesday afternoon before the crew arrived.

Chestertown Volunteer Fire Company Deputy Chief Brad Russum identified the resourceful firefighter as Justin Parsons.

Just as a call for a large vehicle on fire in the 300-block of Maple Avenue was being dispatched at 2:48 p.m. July 2, Parsons arrived in his personal vehicle, according to a post on the fire company’s Facebook page.

First on the scene, Parsons found a concrete mixer with the brakes on fire and discharging a large amount of smoke.

“Knowing that a concrete mixer carries a tank of water and a garden hose for cleaning the equipment of fresh concrete, he [Parsons] had the driver set him up with said hose,” according to the Facebook post.

Parsons put out the fire and began cooling the super-heated brakes, which takes a lot of water.

The Facebook post stated: “After the fire had been knocked down, and after our engine arrived, our crew used a TIC (Thermal Imaging Camera) to measure how much heat remained in and around the involved brake. The initial measurement revealed the temperatures were more than 400°.

“Our crew employed the mixer mounted water system to continue cooling the brake surfaces. Our last measurement with the TIC showed temperatures had dropped below 180°. Because the temperatures were below the boiling point of water, very little to no steam was being generated.”

Chestertown VFC fire police temporarily closed the 300-block of Maple Avenue southbound, between Spring Avenue and Cross Street, as traffic was detoured around the incident. Northbound Maple Avenue remained open and this traffic continued to flow unimpeded, according to the fire company’s Facebook post.

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