Three trucks lost in ODOT fire

Investigators continue to sift through the rubble of three vehicles after a fire Tuesday night at the Ohio Department of Transportation garage on Mitchell Road.

Bowling Green Fire Division Chief Bill Moorman said there is an ongoing investigation into the fire that destroyed three vehicles, about a $500,000 loss, at the site at 955 S. Mitchell Road.

Firefighters were called out around 9:30 p.m.

“There was a report of a lot of fire on the outside of the facility,” Moorman said, which was followed by explosions.

“The explosion was just the tires, which is pretty typical in a situation like this when there’s a lot of fire,” Moorman said.

It took about a half hour to put out the fire, he said.

The State Fire Marshal was on scene Wednesday morning, along with ODOT and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency crews. Some diesel fuel leaked, Moorman said.

Kelsie Hoagland, public information officer with ODOT District 2, said dedicated employees likely saved the garage and a dozen vehicles inside from catching fire.

When they heard the scanner and the location, about five nearby ODOT workers, who are also first responders. raced to the scene, she said. Since they were familiar with the vehicles and the layout of the garage, they could put sand in the water channels and stem the flow of leaking diesel fuel, Hoagland said.

“The vehicles were quite close to the garage so their actions played a critical role,” she said. “When they heard the call come across the radio, they responded immediately.”

Two dump trucks and a semi-truck were a total loss, worth about $500,000, Hoagland said. There was some equipment damaged, but it can be repaired.

She doesn’t believe that being down three trucks will affect operations, as long as no more than the 1 inch of snow forecasted for Friday falls. ODOT is good at sharing resources, she said.

A cause of the fire has not been determined, Hoagland said. Investigators were back on site Wednesday afternoon to get a look at the scene in the daylight, she said.