Volunteer firefighters tackle five fires

Staff Writer

Thursday was a hot, brutal day for Howard County volunteer firefighters as they tackled multiple 9-1-1 fire calls all within the span of the afternoon.
The work began early in the afternoon after 9-1-1 received many calls of an RV on fire west of Big Spring near Interstate 20 and Cauble Road.
“He (the driver of the RV) was driving down the road in the fast lane, and he blew the left, front tire,” Howard County Volunteer Fire Chief Tommy Sullivan said.
The RV traveled some distance while the driver found an opportunity to maneuver into the right lane at the same time decreasing the vehicle’s speed while keeping the RV from flipping, Sullivan reported. The driver was able to bring the RV to a halt off the shoulder of I-20’s east bound lanes.
“Once he did that, the tire was so hot it burst into flames and then the flames just moved through the RV,” he said.
Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers closed off part of Interstate 20 near the scene of the fire as a safety precaution, Sullivan said.
“The line feeding the propane bottles on it melted out and it was shooting propane horizontally across the interstate into the east bound lanes and part of the west bound lanes,” he said.
Sullivan said firefighters were able to knock down the flames without coming close to the vehicle by using the fleet’s newest pumper truck equipped with a water gun.
However, the firefighter’s day had just begun as a call came in about 1 p.m. of structure fire in the 15000 block of County Road 41 in northern Howard County. Firefighters spent the rest of the afternoon fighting three suspicious grass located at various parts of the county.
Sullivan said the grass fires follow the pattern of more than dozen suspicious wildfires occurring in the past month, Sullivan said. The U.S. Forrest Service has been called in to investigate.