The Hillsdale Fire Department responded to a vehicle fire at the Finish Line Family Restaurant on April 8 at 6:34 a.m. after a 2008 Ford F-150 burst into flames.
Firefighter Corey Burke said his team arrived on the scene three minutes after receiving the initial call and found the truck and a nearby tree engulfed in flames.
The cause of the sudden fire is still unidentified, according to Burke.
“We’re trained to stay remotely calm and look for any possible human hazards,” Burke said. “The tree on fire made the situation look a lot worse than it was, though.”
According to Burke, a local resident had parked his truck in the parking lot of Finish Line while waiting for his friends. He reclined his seat, dozed off, and woke up to flames coming through the windshield and windows.
“It was quite a bit of excitement to start the morning,” Lisa Slade, the owner of Finish Line, said.
The fire department arrived soon after the resident called 911, and used foam and water to smother the fire. Burke said it took his team under 30 minutes to put out the fire, due to the quick response of the fire department’s part-paid firefighters.
“We only ever have one full-timer on duty at a time,” Burke said. “But we had eight part-pay fighters show up. They’re a great back up team.”
After the fire was extinguished, Slade said the rest of the day seemed a bit off.
“People were buzzing,” she said. “You wouldn’t think there were so many people out and about, but there were.”
Burke said the event was the perfect opportunity to put his team’s training into action.
“It was nice to see a quick response from our guys, and we are thankful that everyone went home safe,” he said.