By Everett Brazil, III
The Newkirk Herald Journal
NEWKIRK — A Newkirk High School (NHS) student’s transportation is considered a total loss after a mid-day fire Feb. 3 in the NHS parking lot, which also damaged surrounding vehicles in the blaze.
The Newkirk Fire Department received the call about 12:45 p.m., and arrived on the scene to find a Chevrolet Silverado pickup fully engulfed in flames. NHS Principal Kevin Engle was fighting the fire with a fire extinguisher.
“When I arrived on scene, I found a fully-involved engine compartment, and part of the cab,” said Fire Chief Adam Longcrier. “The first arriving engine laid down a line to the vehicle, and we did a quick knockdown of the vehicle.”
At least one car was moved to fight the flames, and several other vehicles also received minor damage, including to the mirrors as well as paint and trim.
“There were vehicles on either side, and they started to get radiant heat damage,” Longcrier said. “They had paint damage, melted plastic trim, melted plastic mirrors. They are drivable. It was a great knockdown so the vehicles could be saved.”
The pickup is considered a total loss, and the cause of the fire is believed to be electrical in nature.
“We do know the batteries were involved, and that looks like that’s where the fire started,” he said. “We were able to save some of the contents of the backseat. We were able to get the fire out about halfway through the cab.”
The NFD is thankful for Engle’s efforts to stop the fire before they arrived.
“Thank you to NHS Principal Kevin Engle. He was fighting with a fire extinguisher, and that probably helped slow down the spread of the fire a little bit, so we appreciate that,” Longcrier said.