Stanley County firefighters handled an unusual blaze Thursday night.
Cody Lengkeek, fire chief for the Fort Pierre Fire Department, said the department was called out at 6:45 p.m. for a semi truck fire on Highway 63, about 40 miles west of Fort Pierre and 5 miles north of the intersection with U.S. Highway 14. The Four Corners fire department was called first and responded first, Lengkeek said.
The truck was carrying 7,700 gallons of gasoline. and 1,750 gallons of diesel fuel in a trailer it was pulling. The fire was limited to the cab section of the truck and did not spread to the fuel it was carrying.
Four Corners put out the fire before it spread and before Fort Pierre Fire arrived. There were no injuries, but truck was a total loss, Lengkeek said.
Then things got a little strange.
“Upon our arrival and the extinguishment of the fire, it was noticed that there was a snowmobile underneath the passenger side of the truck,” he said. “About the only thing we can figure is that somebody was heading north on 63, lost the snowmobile off the back of a pickup or off the trailer they were pulling.”
That snowmobile was sitting in the road, in the dark. The semi came along and hit the snowmobile, which got wedged between the motor and the passenger side tire. As it was dragged underneath the truck, it created friction, heat and sparks, and that caused the fire.
Lengkeek added that the driver got out safely, then tried to fight the fire with a fire extinguisher. When the fire extinguisher ran out, he tried dumping snow on the fire, but it grew too fast for the driver to handle.
“It was kind of an interesting call, actually,” Lengkeek said.