Barn Destroyed and JFD Fire Truck Suffers Minor Damage During Fire Fighting Efforts Friday Night

By Jeremy Coumbes on March 30, 2024 at 12:10pm

No one was injured, however, a Jacksonville Fire Department vehicle sustained minor damage when an outbuilding was destroyed by fire in rural Jacksonville Friday night.

The Jacksonville and South Jacksonville Fire Departments responded to a call of a barn that was fully engulfed with fire located at 1616 Portuguese Hill Road at approximately 10:30 pm.

Upon arrival, Jacksonville Police reported to fire personnel that no one was inside the structure which by then had become fully involved. According to an initial incident report, crews deployed lines and began attacking the fire from a distance due to the intensity of the blaze.

Approximately three to five minutes after arriving on scene, a power line along the main road shorted and began burning. The line, which was located above one of the Jacksonville Fire Department’s apparatus engine trucks, then fell onto the top of the truck.

Fire crews abandoned both the hand line and engine due to the hazard. Ameren Illinois had been called to the scene and crews were able to power down the line and remove it from the vehicle.

A Jacksonville Fire Department porta-tank and two South Jacksonville Fire Department tankers were used in extinguishing the blaze. The barn burned to the ground in the incident and has been deemed a complete loss, estimated at approximately $30,000. No estimated value of the contents was able to be determined.

Fire Department officials say the owners of the barn were out of town at the time of the fire and a neighbor called in the fire. The cause of the blaze will likely not be able to be determined although the incident remains under investigation.

Officials say the Jacksonville Fire Engine received only minor damage to the cover and both hard suction lines. They say the vehicle can continue being in service this weekend and will be pressure tested on Monday to ensure no further damage was sustained.

No one was injured in the incident. Crews were on scene for approximately two hours and 15 minutes.