Fire Truck Axle Randomly Falls off While Responding to Meth Lab Emergency in Upstate New York

Firefighters were scurrying to the reported blaze when the fire engine's rear wheels simply slipped out from underneath it.

Ogdensburg FD

A fire crew in Ogdensburg, New York was caught by surprise when the engine they were driving experienced a unique mechanical failure. While on their way to an emergency at a suspected meth lab, the rear axle on the town’s No. 3 engine strangely, erm, fell off. 

WTHR reports that no one was hurt, and while the truck could have caused serious damage to homes and property along the way, the incident ended without additional drama. The town’s mayor says that the firefighters’ quick actions and solid training helped them avoid what could have been quite the catastrophe.

Via WTHR

The fire department says that this engine’s failure leaves them with only two other units and a Quint from 1993. The engine that fell apart was from 1994 itself, meaning the department’s entire fleet is well on its way to aging out. Many fire departments have made replacing aging equipment a priority, but the costs can be significant. Ladder trucks can cost upward of half a million dollars when they’re decked out with the right equipment, which can be a major burden for small-town fire departments.

While it’s unfortunate, we hear much more about firetruck accidents that involve serious damage and loss of life. Many times, the issues arise from people hitting fire trucks that have already made their way to a scene and are parked, like the truck that was hit while sitting at the scene of an accident on I-55 in Plainfield, Illinois earlier this week. Of course, sometimes the wrecks involve a mistake made by firefighters, which can have some pretty serious results.