A local Fire Chief says he has a greater appreciation for what people feel like when they show up to a call after his personal vehicle caught fire Friday night. Murrayville and Woodson Fire Department crews responded to a call of a vehicle fire west of Murrayville on Prospect Road and assisted one of their own.
Murrayville Fire Department Chief Cody Kitselman says at around 6:30 Friday night he was roughly halfway to Route 67 on the way to Jacksonville in his personal vehicle, a 2004 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck when smoke began to roll out of the heat vents.
“I pulled over to the shoulder real fast and by the time I got the hood popped flames were coming out of the inner fender wells and the side of the hood when I popped the hood. By then with all the wind we had coming across the field there, the truck took off ablaze under the hood and before I knew it my entire truck was on fire.”
Kitselman says he suffered some minor flash burning on his hand while he tried to open the hood of the truck to try to extinguish the fire, but it was already too big to be put out without help. Neither a friend who was riding with Kiteslman in the truck at the time nor any firefighters were injured in the blaze.
Kitselman says once they arrived on scene, firefighters had the fire extinguished within two or three minutes after disbursing foam. He says a great job was done by both departments along with officers from the Murrayville Police and Morgan County Sheriff’s Office who conducted lane closures and diverted traffic away from the area.
Following the blaze, Chief Kitselman says he has a new appreciation for his fellow firefighters and a better understanding of what it’s like for others when a fire call comes in. “It was definitely different. I’ve never been on that side of things before and it was definitely hard. It was not a good feeling whatsoever.”
Kitselman says the cause of the fire has not been determined. The truck has been deemed a total loss.