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A destroyed county road maintenance truck is barely visible during Saturday's fire.

The quick response of the Vinton, Garrison and Urbana-Polk Township fire departments, along with a strong west wind, helped save the one garage/ office building at the Benton County Engineer/Secondary Roads facility from damage when flames engulfed the garage building just a few feet away Saturday morning.

But the fire did claim two of the department's three newest snow plow trucks and other vehicles, as well as the garage that protected them.

Engineer Myron Parizek said Monday morning that he has begun discussing the loss with insurance investigators. The two newest trucks have a replacement cost of around $125,000 each, he said, estimating total losses of around $400,000.

Parizek said the department has smaller trucks that can be used to plow snow, but they have a smaller capacity for hauling sand or salt. Two county engineers from area counties have offered to loan single-axle trucks to Benton County, Parizek said.

Firefighters were on the scene for more than two hours at the facility on the west end of West First Street, where fire began sometime after 10:30 a.m. North Benton Ambulance crews were also on site to offer any medical assistance, as they always do for significant events.

"Everything seemed fine when we left at 10:30," said Don Burkey, one of the county mechanics/welders who was working Saturday morning to prepare trucks so drivers could treat icy roadways.

But, said Burkey, an hour later he got a call informing him of the large fire. Four county vehicles, including two plow trucks and a boom truck were in the building; Burkey said he is certain all four have been totally destroyed by the fire.

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Comments (1)

thanks to the brave fire depts. that serve our county
By: John Austin on January 13th 4:03pm

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