Highland Park needs public's help after fire truck burns in blaze

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A fire truck destroyed by fire.

It started in the engine and quickly consumed the rig after the crew returned from a run in Highland Park earlier this month.

The city has three fire trucks to cover city limits that stretch less than 3 square miles. But one fire would change that - as they were leaving a scene a likely mechanical problem sidelined their 100-foot ladder truck.

Then this happened.

"Once we opened the doors and it got oxygen it started fueling itself and then got on the radio and called for help," said Fire Chief Kevin Coney said. 'But the truck was totally engulfed."

Being down a truck is a big blow for the department - especially since a new one costs at least $1 million a lofty price tag for a department who just last year gained a third engine.

"We had a truck donated by Bloomfield Township and now we are right behind the 8 ball again," Coney said.

The day the rig caught fire, the Highland Park Fire Department responded to a total of 21 runs. Now being a rig down and only having two, they want to make sure they are prepared for the next emergency.

A mutual aide pact with neighboring cities ensures that residents will be safe but this department wants more than just the bare minimum.

"I want the citizens to rest assured that we are capable of handling the job with Detroit and Hamtramck's help," Coney said. "But it's nothing like having our own."

A fellow firefighter came up with an idea to get the community involved setting up a go fund me account.

"We have insurance money. But there is nothing wrong with a little more help," Coney said.

The insurance, we are told will only cover the depreciated value of the rig. Since it is13 years old, they doubt it will be enough money for a replacement and as any good department would do they want to be prepared.

If you would like to help the department CLICK HERE to donate.