So you see, I was the only one available with full protective equipment on. It was pure chance that I did the "exciting" part; I was just manning the second hoseline up until then. I remember thinking at the time, "If I don't get blown up, I'm going to have to clarify this, so my flist won't think I'm some kind of Action Jackson."
However, I should have known it would be more exciting than usual because when I turned on the car (after throwing my blue light on the roof to respond to the station), the "Magnum PI" theme was just coming on the radio. Those of you who have heard it will understand what I mean.
Fire destroyed a camper and scorched a nearby propane tank north of Albion Sunday.
The blaze, which was reported at 8:49 p.m., destroyed a camper at the Todd Middleton residence, east of SR 9 near CR 500N, according to the Noble County Sheriff's Department. Fire trucks had to negotiate a long private lane to reach the location, and arrived to find the camper engulfed in flames.
A large propane tank was less than ten feet from the structure, and the heat apparently caused the fuel lines to fail, causing leaking fuel that burst into flames and threatened to cause the tank to explode. Firefighters had to cool down the tank enough to approach it and turn off the fuel supply before the fire could be controlled. Two smaller propane tanks between the larger one and the camper were also endangered by the radiant heat.
Although its side was scorched, firefighters were able to control the flames without the tank failing. The camper was destroyed, and minor damage was also done to nearby structures. A resident reportedly suffered minor burns while trying to move a car from the danger zone, but refused medical treatment at the scene.
The blaze was believed to be accidental, possibly electrical in origin. Ten Albion firefighters manning three trucks responded, along with the Albion Police and Noble County Sheriff Departments.
It was the third fire in the area that day, but the only one that caused damage. Albion fire units also responded to a report of black smoke in the area of Albion Road and CR 200W at 5:53 p.m., but that ended up being a controlled burn that had not been reported to dispatchers.
At 4:34 p.m. smoke was reported in the area of the Central Noble School campus, but that also turned out to be a controlled burn of a brush pile, according to the Albion Police Department.
Albion firefighters were also called out at about 8 p.m. Friday to a boat fire near Skinner Lake, but returned to service after the owner and neighbors were able to douse the flames.
In addition, Albion fire units were called out twice last week to provide standby coverage to the Kendallville Fire Department, which fought a barn fire at 4 a.m. Friday and a house fire at about 8 a.m. Thursday.