Sparta firefighters respond to pair of vehicle blazes
Tuesday wasn't a good day in the Sparta area for motorized vehicles. The Sparta Area Fire District responded to two separate incidents involving vehicle fires.
The first was Tuesday at 2:12 p.m., when firefighters were called to 19340 Ideal Road in the Town of Leon to extinguish a tree harvester that had caught on fire
Fire Chief Mike Arnold said when he arrived on scene, the machine was fully engulfed in flames. Fire crews quickly doused the fire but the machine sustained heavy fire damage.
According to Arnold, it appeared the logging company workers were preparing to load the equipment on a trailer and were using a propane torch to melt ice from the tracks. Heat from the torch started some lines on fire, which spread to the rest of the machine.
Arnold said the machine, which he believes is insured, is around $175,000 to $185,000 brand new.
Crews were on the scene for one hour and their no injuries were reported. The machine was in an open field so no other structures were in danger.
Then at 10:19 p.m., firefighters responded to a car fire in the Spartek parking lot at 300 Milwaukee Street in Sparta.
When fire crews arrived, the vehicle was totally engulfed in flames. Arnold said the owner, Jason Schodeberg, had just finished his shift at work and attempted to start the vehicle when he heard a popping noise from the engine compartment followed by smoke and fire.
The fire was quickly extinguished and there were no reported injuries. The vehicle was a total loss. Fire crews were on the scene for one hour.